Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link


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83 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Trump’s cunning commercial support package – pay them to be hospitals, palliative care wards and morgues.

    “Overwhelmed medical facilities are converting chapels, cafeterias, waiting rooms, hallways, and parking garages into patient treatment areas, while staff members are desperately calling around to other centres in search of open beds.”

    US surpasses 250,000 coronavirus deaths, as hospitals are overwhelmed by cases

    https://abc.net.au/news/2020-11-19/us-surpasses-250000-coronavirus-deaths-covid-19/12899108

  2. Collectivism which is absolutely not the same as authoritarianism or universalism for that matter like a major positive factor for the COVID-19 response. The article is however rather unconvincing. South America is not doing any better and covid tracing apps are a core part of the collectivists nations response.

    The tracing apps are the part that still annoys me the most about the western response. People don’t use them and even if they use them passive, at least half, often a lot more depending on the country don’t send a message once they are positive. Some of it is just laziness and carelessness, but when you look at the polls about just how many people outright dismiss using the apps – there must be many among those who got full GPS tracking activated in android, use Google Maps, Facebook and all that with no qualms whatsoever.

  3. From “The Energy Bulletin Weekly 16 Nov 2020”, by Tom Whipple and Steve Andrews, Editors:

    Quote of the Week:

    “If you took a poll and asked people what the single biggest casualty was from the pandemic, very few people would respond with ‘oil’. But no matter who wins the election, US oil production, including shale oil, is about to fall off a cliff, with massive consequences for society. For the setup of our modern way of life, oil is effectively our hemoglobin – and the COVID arrow hit at the heart of the industry as market prices are far below what it costs to extract oil from the ground.”- Nate Hagens is a writer, speaker and teacher focused on big-picture systems analysis
    See: https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-11-16/the-energy-bulletin-weekly-16-november-2020/

  4. EROI, EROEI, ERoEIEXT… vested interests, the sovietisation of science… This has been for a spin around the block here several times now. What’s included, what’s excluded.. is there enough EROEI &etc from renewable energy for it to be self replicating and expanding without other (fossil) energy inputs? Is there sufficient for sustaining/extending developed civilisational/economic needs? I doubt it, still do, and Biden’s Promise on climate change, heavily underwritten by rapidly expanding fossil fuel extraction as it is, gives the lie. But JQ, for one, here has said, yes, there is enough. I can only say again that I hope JQ is correct on this, but that we will certainly see how it turns out and now we have Biden’s Promise which certainly isn’t a good look.

    One quote from the archives on this:

    “EROI values that do reflect technological improvements are calculated by combining “top-of-the-line” technological specifications from contemporary commercially available modules with the energy output values obtained from experimental field data. Other researchers contend that values derived using this methodology do not represent adequately the “actual” energy cost to society and the myriad energy costs associated with this delivery process. For example Prieto and Hall, 2012 calculated EROI values that incorporate most energy costs, with the assumption that where ever money was spent energy too was spent. They use data from existing installations in Spain, and derived EROI values of roughly 2.4:1, considerably lower than many less comprehensive estimates. Similarly low EROI values for roof top PVs with battery back up were found by Palmer (2013), although it should be noted that the outputs of both systems were higher quality electricity. Nearly all renewable energy systems appear to have relatively low EROI values when compared with conventional fossil fuels. A question remains as to the degree to which total energy costs can be reduced in the future, but as it stands most “renewable” energy systems appear to be still heavily supported by fossil fuels. … Alternatives such as photovoltaics and wind turbines are unlikely to be nearly as cheap energetically or economically as past oil and gas when backup costs are considered. In addition there are increasing costs everywhere pertaining to potential climate changes and other pollutants. Any transition to solar energies would require massive investments of fossil fuels. Despite many claims to the contrary —from oil and gas advocates on the one hand and solar advocates on the other— we see no easy solution to these issues when EROI is considered. If any resolution to these problems is possible it is probable that it would have to come at least as much from an adjustment of society’s aspirations for increased material affluence and an increase in willingness to share as from technology. Unfortunately recent political events do not leave us with great optimism that such changes in societal values will be forthcoming.” – Hall, Lambert, & Balough 2013, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421513003856 (emphasis added)

  5. The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) informs that Adani has just rebranded with a name change to “Bravus”, and that they plan to export twice as much coal as they have been publicising.

    Concerning Adani doublespeak, AMCS informs that experts in Latin have pointed out the word bravus translates to “crooked” or “mercenary”. Was “Bravus” chosen by accident or design? An Indian’s bombast or hoodwinker’s Latin conceit?

    https://www.marineconservation.org.au/actions/donate-adani-bravus-sticker/

  6. I really want to emphasise “supports can help mitigate the effects” ^1.

    I have been assisting a ptsd sufferer for 5yrs now. The most beneficial support came from a Vietnam vet w lived experience. 3yrs on, the govt insists on only clinical psychologists or psychiatrists. 4 sessions this year only! No more appts til Feb next year. Suicide risk increases w lack of care and after drought, fires and pandemic we are woefully under resourced in mental health truama councelling.  If we took mental health seriously,  plus ubi plus psychedelics as treatment, the mental health problems for older Australians would be manageable both clincally and financially, imo. 

    “Queensland’s suicide rate did not rise amid coronavirus pandemic, defying expectations, new research shows

    “Professor Shand said previous evidence from the Global Financial Crisis showed there was a correlation between high unemployment and suicide rates, but other supports can help mitigate the effects. ^1

    “She said in countries where there was good social welfare support, such as unemployment benefits, the suicide rate had not increased.

    “We think that the JobSeeker and the JobKeeper programs [in Australia] have helped and so what we’re advocating for is ongoing attention to those areas,” she said.”
    https://abc.net.au/news/2020-11-19/coronavirus-queensland-suicide-mental-health-deaths-research/12886418

    Real-time suicide mortality data from police reports in Queensland, Australia, during the COVID-19 pandemic: an interrupted time-series analysis
    Stuart Leske, PhD 
    Kairi Kõlves, PhD
    Prof David Crompton, FRANZCP
    Prof Ella Arensman, PhD
    Prof Diego de Leo, PhD
    Published:November 16, 2020
    DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30435-1

  7. Oxford:
    “Almost 20% of COVID-19 patients receive a psychiatric diagnosis within 90 days
    ● Almost 1 in 5 people diagnosed with COVID-19 receive a psychiatric diagnosis within the next 3 months
    ● 1 in 4 of these people had not had a psychiatric diagnosis before COVID-19
    ● Patients with existing psychiatric disorders might be more likely to get COVID-19
    https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-11-10-almost-20-covid-19-patients-receive-psychiatric-diagnosis-within-90-days#

    “Bidirectional associations between COVID-19 and psychiatric disorder: retrospective cohort studies of 62 354 COVID-19 cases in the USA

    “We found that the rate of all diagnoses of psychiatric disorders (ie, including relapses) was higher after COVID-19 diagnosis than after control health events (figure 2; table 3; appendix p 29). The estimated probability of having been diagnosed with any psychiatric illness in the 14 to 90 days after COVID-19 diagnosis was 18·1% (95% CI 17·6–18·6), significantly higher than for all control health events …”…

    “The increased risk of psychiatric sequelae after COVID-19 diagnosis remained unchanged in all sensitivity analyses: …”…

    “In the period between 14 and 90 days after COVID-19 diagnosis, 5·8% COVID-19 survivors had their first recorded diagnosis of psychiatric illness (F20–F48), compared with 2·5–3·4% of patients in the comparison cohorts. Thus, adults have an approximately doubled risk of being newly diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder after COVID-19 diagnosis.”…

    “The HRs from COVID-19 were higher compared with all other cohorts, indicating that COVID-19 has an impact on psychiatric health above and beyond that which occurs after other acute health events. Since our severity and contextual factors hypotheses cannot explain most of the associations, it is necessary to explore the cause of the particular effect of COVID-19 on the risk of psychiatric disorder. Despite various speculations, the underlying mechanisms are unknown and require urgent investigation. The relationship between the severity of illness (as proxied by inpatient admission) and psychiatric outcomes, albeit modest, might represent a dose–response relationship, suggesting that the association might at least partly be mediated by biological factors directly related to COVID-19 (eg, viral load, breathlessness, or the nature of the immune response).

    “We did not anticipate that psychiatric history would be an independent risk factor for COVID-19. This finding appears robust, being observed in all age strata and in both sexes, and was substantial—a 1·65 times excess. This result was not related to any specific psychiatric diagnostic category, and was similar regardless of whether the diagnosis was made within 1 or 3 years, and whether or not the known physical risk factors for COVID-19 were present. The risk persisted when problems related to housing and economic circumstances were controlled for. This result is consistent with a recent case-control study using a different US electronic health record network, although the previous study found much higher relative risks.

    “Nevertheless, we interpret this finding cautiously, as a Korean study found no association between psychiatric diagnosis and COVID-19 diagnosis, albeit in a much smaller sample and with less matching. 

    “Possible explanations for the association include behavioural factors (eg, less adherence to social distancing recommendations) and residual socioeconomic and lifestyle factors (eg, smoking) that are not sufficiently captured by the available data in any of the studies. It could also be that vulnerability to COVID-19 is increased by the pro-inflammatory state postulated to occur in some forms of psychiatric disorder or be related to psychotropic medication.

    “The strengths of this study are the sample size, the amount of data available, the use of propensity score matching, the range of sensitivity analyses, and the real-world nature of the data. The study also has limitations. First, …”…

    “In conclusion, our findings are of sufficient robustness and magnitude to have some immediate implications. The figures provide minimum estimates of the excess in psychiatric morbidity to be anticipated in survivors of COVID-19 and for which services need to plan. As COVID-19 sample sizes and survival times increase, it will be possible to refine these findings and to identify rarer and delayed psychiatric presentations. Prospective cohort studies and inclusive case registers will be valuable to complement electronic health record analyses. It will also be important to explore additional risk factors for contracting COVID-19, and for developing psychiatric disorders thereafter, as some elements might prove to be modifiable.”
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(20)30462-4/fulltext#tbl2

    Bidirectional associations between COVID-19 and psychiatric disorder: retrospective cohort studies of 62 354 COVID-19 cases in the USA

    Maxime Taquet, PhD
    Sierra Luciano, BA
    Prof John R Geddes, FRCPsych
    Prof Paul J Harrison, FRCPsych 

    Open Access
    Published:November 09, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30462-4

    Reuters (walled garden – no link or name of study)
    1 in 5…
    “The researchers from Britain’s Oxford University also found significantly higher risks of dementia, a brain impairment condition.

    “People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings … show this to be likely,” said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford.

    “Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the UK mental health charity SANE, said the study echoed her charity’s experience during the pandemic.

    “Our helpline is dealing with an increasing number of first-time callers who are being triggered into mental health problems, as well as those who are relapsing because their fear and anxiety have become intolerable,” she said.”
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-mental-illness-idUSKBN27P34L?

  8. Yes Hix there is something about giving information to government that people dont like .I think its a north American influence .People enthusiastically fall over each other racing to give as much personal information as possible to corporations

    i should have pointed out in my previous post that there must be a lot of military personnel that always try to do the right thing.

  9. Svante (re your comments at NOVEMBER 19, 2020 AT 2:02 PM)
    Thanks for actually reading the paper yourself – I’d suggest that makes it much more poignant for you personally – but I may be wrong.

    IMO, Hall, Lambert, & Balough’s statements published in “EROI of different fuels and the implications for society” outline the probable sobering reality, particularly this part you highlighted in bold in your comment:

    “If any resolution to these problems is possible it is probable that it would have to come at least as much from an adjustment of society’s aspirations for increased material affluence and an increase in willingness to share as from technology. Unfortunately recent political events do not leave us with great optimism that such changes in societal values will be forthcoming.”

    IMO, there’s no ‘sugar coating’ the situation, and I’d suggest most people simply don’t want to see/hear messages like that. People don’t want to be reminded that the planet will become more hostile (primarily due to us humans), energy starved with lower ERoI, and that we will need to learn to live with less.

    Many people would much prefer the reassuring lies and fantasies, rather than be told the inconvenient truths. Perhaps that’s why Trump is so attractive to so many people? He sells the MAGA ‘Kool-Aid’ fantasy so well to unthinking people.

    On climate change, Trump would have you believe: “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.”
    See: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/14/trump-challenged-on-climate-change-during-wildfire-briefing.html

    On COVID-19, Trump has said “It’s going to disappear”
    See: https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2020/10/politics/covid-disappearing-trump-comment-tracker/

    Eventually the reality will be so overwhelming. But will that be too late to do anything about preventing civilisation collapse and mass sufferings and deaths? Nature has given us COVID-19 to practice with.

  10. In case anyone missed it, posted on Nov 18, at Michael West Media was a piece headlined “Where the bloody hell is it? Did Scott Morrison lie about the report that saved his bacon at Tourism Australia?”, beginning with:

    “Scott Morrison was sacked as managing director of Tourism Australia in 2006 with a year left to run on his contract. For 14 years the reason for the sacking has remained one of the best kept secrets in Parliament. Now, FoI documents accessed by Jommy Tee reveal the PM either lied about a critical probity report, or numerous government departments and agencies are so incompetent that all of them – together, coincidentally, jointly and severally – lost it.”
    See: https://www.michaelwest.com.au/where-the-bloody-hell-is-it-did-scott-morrison-lie-about-the-report-that-saved-his-bacon-at-tourism-australia/

  11. South Australian shutdown to end just before midnight tomorrow because it turns out a person wasn’t entirely forthcoming when questioned by contact tracers. I hope that if the person happened to be covering up something illegal no one is brought up on charges due to information obtained from contact tracers and I hope this is publicized. We want people to be honest about where they were, for how long, and who they were with when it comes to stopping Covid, even if they were doing something not entirely non-naughty.

  12. Geoff Miell: “but I may be wrong.”

    Somethings don’t change 😉

    By archives I meant, as indicated, the quote is one previously posted here, that one from late 2018, and I’ve not read the paper since.

    Geoff Miell: “People don’t want to be reminded that the planet will become more hostile (primarily due to us humans), energy starved with lower ERoI, and that we will need to learn to live with less…”

    This aligns with what I was stating here a few times back around then, and with what I still hold too.

    However, others’ “mileage may vary”, and, as I recall, for example, Prof Quiggin here had a decidedly opposed view wherein renewables, particularly pv, would not require other extractive/production/installation/maintenance/etc energy inputs to grow itself sufficiently, and opposed to those published empirical findings drawn from existing large commercial utilities as made by the quoted authors above and other highly qualified authors and large pv utility managers. Most such authorities remaining then were suffering at the end of a process of being beaten into silence by the power and reach of the big moneyed pv industry, cherry picked industry backed unrepresentative lab research, and now are silenced. As some of those have written on retirement, and as I pessimistically paraphrase once more too: “we’ll see what happens before too long won’t we”.

    Einstein may not have said that the definition of insanity is doing things over and over again expecting a different result, nevertheless we’ll be seeing if the definition fits soon. We all invest much hope, hope against hope, that renewables can save the situation, but hopes aint facts.

    BTW, the authors in 2013 were writing post the Great Recession enriching the rich, Occupy, the middle east oil and gas wars, the climbing fracking boom, not post Trump. Renewables actually increased in the US in both the Obomber and Trump periods. I haven’t checked on the situation today, but have often read that everywhere renewables have been introduced, everywhere renewables have increased, so also have fossil carbon emissions increased, and sadly I expect somethings don’t/won’t change. Saving ourselves is hard, whereas leaving it too born yet again hope in a renewable saviour is too easy – take Biden’s Promise for an instance of such an insanity.

  13. Svante,
    You state: “I haven’t checked on the situation today, but have often read that everywhere renewables have been introduced, everywhere renewables have increased, so also have fossil carbon emissions increased…”

    Perhaps carbon emissions have increased because consumption of fossil fuels have continued to increase? – see graph below:

    Total energy consumption has continued to rise, with fossil fuels still being the major share, at least until 2019. Is it any wonder GHG emissions have continued to climb?

    Then COVID-19 has destroyed some of that energy consumption, mainly with fossil fuels share, and consequently GHG emissions have declined.

    “Global energy demand in the first quarter of 2020 (Q1 2020) declined by 3.8%, or 150 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), relative to the first quarter of 2019, reversing all the energy demand growth of 2019. The drop in global economic activity cut demand for some energy sources much more than for others, with impacts on demand in Q1 2020 going well beyond declines in GDP for certain sectors and fuels.”

    Global coal demand down almost 8%.
    “Global oil demand was down nearly 5%.”
    “Demand for natural gas declined by around 2% in Q1 2020, with China, Europe and the United States experiencing the most significant declines.”
    “Renewable energy demand increased by about 1.5%…”
    See: https://www.iea.org/reports/global-energy-review-2020/global-energy-and-co2-emissions-in-2020

    You state: “Saving ourselves is hard, whereas leaving it too born yet again hope in a renewable saviour is too easy – take Biden’s Promise for an instance of such an insanity.”

    And yet you, Svante, have apparently hitched your wagon to Trump, who has demonstrated his incompetence in dealing with COVID-19. US total deaths are likely to surpass 260,000 today, and with a daily death rate now around 2,000 and likely to climb higher, it’s probable we will see the US cumulative death toll rise to 300,000 in a few weeks, and possibly to more than 400,000 well before Trump leaves office in January 2021.

    You’ve previously stated: “Trump was robbed”.

    Was he? “Robbed” of killing more people, eh Svante? Let’s be thankful for small mercies.

    Nate Hagens – Director, Energy and our Future, in a piece headlined “NO MATTER WHO WINS” published on Nov 1:

    “I have concluded that natural systems and species futures – for better or worse – are linked to human futures – we have to ‘bend not break’ to have the best outcome for (most) Earth Systems (other than perhaps oceans and very remote species). I believe humans are not any better or worse than we were 100 years, 1000 years or 100,000 years ago – there are just more of us so our impact is (much) larger and each and every one of us consuming much more resources than our ancestors did. Humans are good at heart but we are biological organisms following cultural goals that have expiry dates. We have arrived at a ‘species level’ juncture and need to use systems science, reason, discourse, and leadership to navigate a glide path to intact futures.”
    See: https://www.energyandourfuture.org/2020/11/02/no-matter-who-wins/

    Trump has demonstrated he:
    – is anti-science;
    – lacks reason and intelligence;
    – engages in uncivil discourse and divisive leadership.

    Saving ourselves certainly will be hard.
    Humanity cannot afford people like Trump – that would be insanity.

  14. Over to you experts: what financal, monetary, market dynamic could this phrase be applied to “representations of the trajectories of shifting chemical equilibria, for instance.”.

    …”  the fundamental elements of our theory can be generalized to deal with a wide range of systems, which in turn paves the way to a comprehensive theoretical framework for self-organizing systems.”

    “Biophysics: Geometry supersedes simulations

    “Physicists have introduced a new method that allows biological pattern-forming systems to be systematically characterized with the aid of mathematical analysis. The trick lies in the use of geometry to characterize the dynamics.

    “The authors capture this dynamic interplay with the aid of geometrical structures that characterize the global dynamics in a multidimensional ‘phase space’. The collective properties of systems can be directly derived from the topological relationships between these geometric constructs, because these objects have concrete physical meanings — as representations of the trajectories of shifting chemical equilibria, for instance. “This is the reason why our geometrical description allows us to understand why the patterns we observe in cells arise. In other words, they reveal the physical mechanisms that determine the interplay between the molecular species involved,” says Frey. “Furthermore, the fundamental elements of our theory can be generalized to deal with a wide range of systems, which in turn paves the way to a comprehensive theoretical framework for self-organizing systems.”

    Materials provided by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Journal Reference:
    Fridtjof Brauns, Jacob Halatek, Erwin Frey.Phase-Space Geometry of Mass-Conserving Reaction-Diffusion Dynamics. Physical Review X, 2020; 10 (4) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.10.041036

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201120132620.htm

  15. By the time covid is behind us in perhaps 2 years time Trump will have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of extra deaths in America .Possibly even 1 million extra. Thats one hell of a vanity project. Americans are reluctant to consider a lock down because they know their government wont divert that torrent of printed money away from the billionaire class for long enough to help average people through one.

  16. I’m no great fan of Donald Trump but Sunshines’ assertion that he is responsible for hundreds of thousands of extra deaths is a bit silly and highly partisan. Deaths per million of population is roughly comparable between US (785), France(739), Spain(911), Italy(804), UK(798), Belgium(1322).

    These figures are easily available, yet Trump is UNIQUELY BAD, because – REASONS.

  17. Geoff Miell — “Perhaps carbon emissions have increased because consumption of fossil fuels have continued to increase? – see graph below:”

    Perhaps? Why any “perhaps”? The ERoIEXT related question is what fuels the renewable energy expansion? Fossil fuels perhaps? If fossils is it renewable? Is it sustainable?

    Are you now attempting to claim that renewable energy expansion has happened, is happening, and will continue in some way to happen sufficient to meet demand under, so to speak, its own steam? Dog spare me, mate, you seem again unable to comprehend even the authoritative authors you quote, and then you’re off barking again.

    — “You state: “Saving ourselves is hard, whereas leaving it too born yet again hope in a renewable saviour is too easy – take Biden’s Promise for an instance of such an insanity.”

    And yet you, Svante, have apparently hitched your wagon to Trump, who has demonstrated his incompetence in dealing with COVID-19…”

    LOL. Lots of LOLs. You haven’t read that climate promise have you? But I ought not forget your consistently displayed straining capacity for twisted comprehension even had you read DNC/Biden there.

    — “You’ve previously stated: “Trump was robbed”

    Did I, really? Dog spare me, mate, you seem again unable to comprehend any text you quote, and then you’re running off barking up wrong trees all over yet again! I stated, “Trump wuz robbed! We wuz rubbed they’ll cry and cry out until the cows come home. No stopping it. There’s no healing coming for Biden…”, and continued in that vein. But my dear Quixano, enough, I’m forgetting your strained written English comprehension, and compulsive need to tilt at windmills.

    — “Trump has demonstrated he” (up to now, with weeks to go) was able to keep a truly novel major promise not to begin any new warring, and wind down existing warring. Outstanding. Simply amazing! Good.

    — “Humanity cannot afford people like Trump – that would be insanity.”

    Humanity is fine with Trump unlike the usual imperial warpig insanity he hurt us hardly at all.

    — “…We have arrived at a ‘species level’ juncture and need to use systems science, reason, discourse, and leadership to navigate a glide path to intact futures.”

    If you don’t think the evident Wall St pwned Biden insanity will bite humanity, not just on climate, but in all the old ways, you’re not just capital-T Theory paranoid outrage triggered, mate you’re delusional.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/19/dear-joe-biden-are-you-kidding-me-erin-brockovich

  18. Not it’s not silly to make Trump responsible for a huge number of US COVID-19 death. Above 100k ? Probably that too, hard to tell how much he could have improved considering the legal authority for most important decisions is at the state level. Note the same is true in Germany – the legal authority for almost all decisions is at the state level and still Merkel had a huge positive impact on German covid measures, while Trump managed to do the opposite.

    You can´t simply point at some European countries, even omitting all the ones that did better (so far) that is lazy. If things are complicated, one thing that is typically done in empirical political science would be a most similar case design. So you don’t compare Sweden with the world average, or with the European, rather with Denmark Norway and Finland – countries with the most similar culture, gdp and covid exposure timeframe. That one, and only that one reveals how Sweden fucked up. The most similar case to the US is Canada. Also: We can already see a bit beyond current confirmed death and that does not look favorable for the US.

  19. Hix,
    Way too early to say. Current projections for Germany (worldometer) are at roughly 10x current values (120,000) by next March whereas US is 2x(450,000). The end result is not so dissimilar.

    Same with Canada. Projections are 3.5x current by March. Will take it to same ball park as US. Maybe 2/3 but Canada is not like US at all.

    I have absolutely no idea if those predictions are valid or accurate but I think it is highly partisan to blame him. It’s pure signalling and nothing else.

  20. A leader is held responsible and answerable for what happens under his or her watch. Otherwise, why have democracy?

  21. Svante (re your comment at NOVEMBER 21, 2020 AT 11:37 PM),
    You ask: “Perhaps? Why any “perhaps”? The ERoIEXT related question is what fuels the renewable energy expansion? Fossil fuels perhaps? If fossils is it renewable? Is it sustainable?”

    Got to start somewhere, in an age where fossil fuels have dominated for more than a century, eh?
    If renewables cannot end their dependency on fossil fuels, and I’d suggest leaving petroleum oil will be the greatest challenge, and soon (i.e. within the next two decades), then human civilisation is likely to collapse later this century due to catastrophic climate change.

    Ah, but I suspect you, Svante, is a climate science denier, like Trump.

    You respond: “— “You’ve previously stated: “Trump was robbed”

    Did I, really?”

    Yep. Here’s what you stated NOVEMBER 13, 2020 AT 4:32 PM:

    “Trump was robbed.

    The pre-election polls were utterly wrong.

    It appears Biden has only just scraped in.”
    See your comment: https://johnquiggin.com/2020/11/02/elections-open-thread/comment-page-3/#comment-230349

    That was you, Svante, or is there someone else masquerading as you at this blog?
    Now it seems you are claiming I have “strained written English comprehension” – really? Are you now claiming the excuse I’ve taken you ‘out of context’, eh Svante?
    It seems to me you are increasingly emulating Trump’s unenviable traits.

    You state: “Humanity is fine with Trump unlike the usual imperial warpig insanity he hurt us hardly at all.”

    It’s not over yet. Who knows what ticking time bombs (pun intended) have been set by Trump to explode in future, harming many in the longer-term? The escalating US COVID-19 infections, “long COVID”, and death rates is an obvious one, but what other instabilities are lurking in the background to emerge later? I’d suggest Trump’s climate denial policies, encouragement of fossil fuel expansion, and predatory delay on climate action could potentially contribute to eventually killing us all.

    Ah, but I suspect you, Svante, is a climate science denier, like Trump.

    I’m still waiting for evidence from you of “Biden subscribes to first use of nukes”, and Biden is “the usual imperial warpig insanity”. I won’t be holding my breath.

    You state: “…mate you’re delusional.”

    Right back at you, Svante! It seems to me you are behaving more and more like the sock puppets of Graeme Bird.

  22. Geoff Miell – more rich LOLs, thankyou. Crikey, what a card (carrier) you are! Come back with more of those crazed partisan calls when you’ve finally gotten around to reading Biden’s climate ‘promise’ and have caught up on the DNC’s big dirty green new deal… that would be delightful, so go knock yourself out. Yes please do, and do get back with that before the Georgia rerun provides opportunity for new humourous partisan twists. I don’t want to miss out on your pre-Georgia Biden’s ‘Promise’ and dirty-GND lols because… you know… after, those lols may not have such jocular currency if put aside by future Georgia-made-them-do-it lols. If you’re serious, you owe it to yourself to present the opportunities for possibly twice the fun and laughter.

  23. “A leader is held responsible and answerable for what happens under his or her watch. Otherwise, why have democracy?”

    Come on Ikonoclast,

    1. what is this democracy you speak of?

    2. You know well that leaders and/or ‘leaders’ of democracies, even if some are sometimes somewhat responsible, are seldom held answerable.

    Having leaders answer for their sins died out with the French Revolution. Since then ‘leaders’ mostly can rely on a deal amongst their class to live and let live. They had to wait quite a while before faking Napoleon’s death from natural causes… Mao even let the last emperor live out his days as a gardener (persuaded by Chou?), and amazingly barred Chiang Kai-shek’s execution when captured and held prisoner, then set him free with every assistance to go off and run the ROC for 26 more years until his death from natural causes at 87 years and 4 months of age.

    Occasionally these days a mob, mafia, militia, or the 5-Eyes deep state take it upon themselves to make the leader of a small state ultimately answerable whether or not they’re responsible and regardless of what.

  24. It’s so long until next Monday…and I want to talk about the cool new tax that SA is putting on electric vehicles. They mean cars, BTW, there is (so far) no move to tax ebikes or electric scooters.

    Running some numbers, petrol is taxed at about 50c/litre, cars get about 7l/100km, half the petrol tax goes to the state, so call it $2/100km that is “car tax”. How much of that goes to road maintenance I don’t know, but I’m sure one of you boffins has the numbers to hand.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2020/nov/22/tax-on-electric-vehicles-in-south-australia-and-victoria-would-slam-brakes-on-sales

  25. Moz in Oz,
    You state: “How much of that goes to road maintenance I don’t know, but I’m sure one of you boffins has the numbers to hand.”

    From the ACCC:

    “For unleaded petrol (regular or premium grades) and diesel the price you pay includes Australian Government fuel excise, set at $0.418 per litre, as at August 2019.

    For automotive LPG the price you pay includes excise of $0.137 per litre, as at August 2019.”
    See: https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/petrol-diesel-lpg/about-fuel-prices

    GST is another added tax (after excise) on fuel.

    Per the Public Transport Users Association (Victoria), dated Jan 2019:

    “…we shouldn’t expect all money collected from motorists to be spent on roads. But in any case, the smallest credible estimate for the total cost of the road system in Australia is $69 billion a year, of which $45 billion a year is collected in taxes and charges on motorists, leaving a ‘road deficit’ of at least $24 billion a year. By the most generous measure, motorists only contribute two-thirds of the cost of the road system. More specifically, of what the Federal government collects in fuel tax, around two-thirds is either rebated or handed back to motorists in tax concessions for car use.”
    See: https://www.ptua.org.au/myths/petroltax/

    Electric vehicles currently make up only 0.2% of the total vehicle fleet in Australia.

    On Oct 30, BP Australia announced the shutdown of the WA Kwinana refinery over the next six months. The site will be converted to an import terminal. It currently employs around 650 workers, reducing to around 60 once the import terminal is completed.

    The three remaining operating Australian oil refineries (Altona, Geelong, and Lytton) have all dramatically slowed their fuel output in the face of severe oversupply during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. All three are bleeding multimillion-dollar losses, with their refining margins under enormous strain.
    See SMH article by Nick Toscano headlined “Running on empty: Oil refineries at breaking point as world grinds to a halt”, dated Nov 14.

    Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a 10-point green plan that includes a ban on combustion engine sales by 2030, with grants for electric cars, and funding for charge points. The sale of some hybrid cars and vans will continue until 2035.
    See: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/17/boris-johnson-announces-10-point-green-plan-with-250000-jobs

    It seems to me the elephants in the room that all Australian state, territory (with perhaps the ACT being an exception) and federal governments are ignoring are:
    1) the precarious situation with domestic petroleum refinery capacity; and
    2) long-term liquid fuel security in an inevitable post- ‘peak oil’ supply world.

    The writing is on the wall – Australia needs to transition as fast as possible away from petroleum-based liquid fuels. IMO, penalizing and discouraging the uptake of EV’s is undeniable idiocy, and threatens Australia’s longer-term energy security.
    See blog CrudeOilPeak’s latest post (Nov 14) headlined “Australia’s BP Kwinana refinery closure: peak oil context”.

  26. So of that 40c/l about $1.40/100km goes to the states, which in a sane world would be the upper limit on the electric car tax. he average car apparently does 13,301 km/year so that’s roughly $200 per car, per year. Charging electric car owners that much doesn’t seem too unreasonable. My bet is that the stupidity of it, or the outcry, will mean the tax never gets applied..

    I think they should, though, especially since electric trucks are coming. Specifically, as a nonlinear gram-metre tax like heavy vehicles get taxed in Aotearoa (and other places, I’m just familiar with them). Road damage goes up as the fourth power of axle weight, so taxing Smart cars at the same rate as 4500kg trucks seems weird and wrong. That argument, BTW, is also one reason why taxing bicycles for wear and tear on roads is wrong … the road damage even for the fattest of cyclists is so much less than 1 cent per year that it doesn’t matter what other assumptions you throw in. But charging the 500kg car a small fraction as much per kilometre as the 4.5 ton truck makes sense.

    Obviously the road transport lobby would explode if this was proposed, because that step from 2500kg on the rear axle to 7500kg on the rear axle is an 81x multiplier, but if they tax total weight the way the kiwis do it’s 4500kg to 45,000kg… 10,000x times the per kilometre charge. Ugly.

  27. Moz of Yarramulla,
    You state: “Charging electric car owners that much doesn’t seem too unreasonable.”

    From The Driven post yesterday:

    “Victoria will impose the tax of 2.5c a kilometre for full electric vehicles, and 2 cents a kilometre for plug in hybrid vehicles. That translates to an annual tax of $500 for an electric car that travels 20,000kms a year, or an extra $400 a year tax for a plug in like the Mitsubishi Outlander. Victoria expects to raise around $30 million a year.”
    See: https://thedriven.io/2020/11/21/shameful-victoria-follows-south-australia-and-imposes-electric-car-road-tax/

    From RenewEconomy post today:

    “One is that fuel excise is general revenue only, and is not used to directly fund roads, and EVs pay more than their fair share of general revenue through higher GST, stamp duty and other charges. And they’re not killing people with their emissions. The other is that many EVs, particularly the growing second hand market for Nissan Leafs, cost only $20,000 and are not driven by millionaires, but by people who might have once owned Mazdas and Kias.”
    See: https://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-carbon-twist-taxing-consumers-who-refuse-to-burn-fossil-fuels-45591/

    The tax will apparently double EV running costs.
    It’s a tax on people trying not to burn fossil fuels (that contribute to killing people with emissions).
    EVs pay more than their fair share of general revenue through higher GST, stamp duty and other charges.

    Most other countries have generous incentives to accelerate the uptake of EVs, noting their benefits in public health and reducing emissions, and then there’s fuel security.

    These EV taxes by SA and Victoria governments are apparently being driven by rampant greed, self interest by vested interest groups, powerful business lobbies, and an ignorant and spiteful Murdoch media.

  28. Most other countries have generous incentives to accelerate the uptake of EVs, noting their benefits in public health and reducing emissions, and then there’s fuel security.

    That depends on what your goals are. Australia sees a consistent 80%-90% of people vote for the “die in a fire” options, so it’s not just our politicians and foreign billionaires wanting it.

    I’d like to see more EVs, few fossil subsidies and so on, and I really doubt that a smart tax on all vehicles would get through. I am writing to my federal MP to suggest he oppose the proposed tax, and I hope it doesn’t get up.

    FWIW I’m currently in a discussion on an SF authors blog where people who you might expect to be more future-aware are arguing vigorously that because EVs can’t be all things to everyone that all right-thinking people must oppose them. It’s not just your stereotypical “grunt grunt football uurrgh” moron who doesn’t get it.

  29. That sounds about right Moz. Oh well, dare I say they deserve what’s coming? All human achievements and values are annulled if we fail the climate change challenge. I mean this both existentially (as in we and all that is ours will be destroyed) but also as a final moral judgement on humanity itself. Everything else we hold to be important, every other value we hold supposedly dear is shown to empty and worthless show if we destroy ourselves and much other of this iteration of life on planet earth, as well.

    Clearly, humanity needs ever more destructive demonstrations from nature in order to respect nature once again. These demonstrations are indisputably coming, thick and fast. Nature itself is saying (metaphorically), “Mankind you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. You have merited extinction or at least a re-boot back to hunter-gathering.” The second iteration for homo sapiens, if it happens, will be much more difficult. The world will not be a cornucopia this next time round, at least not for a few million years at best.

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