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. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

38 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. “Can we use big batteries to power our trains?
    A new analysis suggests the economics are close to breaking even.

    “Using an economic measure called the “net present value,” the researchers determine that switching to batteries alone would cost $15 billion. But taking the pollution damages into account turns the number into a $44 billion savings. Considering climate damages as well boosts the savings to $94 billion. Even if these damages are ignored, a rise in the price of diesel and allowing freight companies to buy power at wholesale rates come close to shifting the costs to neutral.

    Possible extras
    “The analysis becomes very interesting when the researchers leave freight behind and start thinking about what could be done with many big, mobile batteries. Even without moving them, freight companies could use their capacity to provide grid stabilization services or sell back power when the price gets high. In extreme cases, this system could actually pay for the entire infrastructure.

    “Preliminary estimates of the most expensive 90 hours per year in the ERCOT [Texas] market, for example, show that batteries could be discharged at $200/kWh, potentially generating enough revenue to pay for the upfront battery cost in a single year,” the study says.

    “Economic, environmental and grid-resilience benefits of converting diesel trains to battery-electric

    Natalie D. Popovich, Deepak Rajagopal, […]Amol Phadke
    Nature Energy (2021)

    “Nearly all US locomotives are propelled by diesel-electric drives, which emit 35 million tonnes of CO2 and produce air pollution causing about 1,000 premature deaths annually, accounting for approximately US$6.5 billion in annual health damage costs. Improved battery technology plus access to cheap renewable electricity open the possibility of battery-electric rail. Here we show that a 241-km range can be achieved using a single standard boxcar equipped with a 14-MWh battery and inverter, while consuming half the energy consumed by diesel trains. At near-future battery prices, battery-electric trains can achieve parity with diesel-electric trains if environmental costs are included or if rail companies can access wholesale electricity prices and achieve 40% use of fast-charging infrastructure. Accounting for reduced criteria air pollutants and CO2 emissions, switching to battery-electric propulsion would save the US freight rail sector US$94 billion over 20 years.”

  2. Like a carbon price, may we have a robot labour replacement price please. Any suggestions? Beause this statement by 3M implies a rosy future – just for 1 Rosy the riveter.

    3M greenwashing robot rhetoric where robots provide “greater autonomy, connectivity and time to focus on other aspects of her role and her life too.”

    That statement constitutes a bezzle and belies ratio of robots employed vs productivity & labour abandoned.

    : “…said Carl Doeksen, global robotics/automation director, 3M’s Abrasive Systems Division. “…, to helping improve the lives of our employees, our customers, and their families. Some of this is captured in the story of a 3M operator in our Aberdeen, SD, plant: automation improved the quality and quantity of our N95 respirator production. But just as importantly, this operator discovered that automation gave her greater autonomy, connectivity and time to focus on other aspects of her role and her life too.”

    “Q3 Robot Orders Put 2021 on Track for Biggest Year Yet

    “Strong robot sales in the third quarter of 2021 bring the total number of orders so far this year to nearly 29,000 units valued at $1.48 billion, the best numbers ever recorded for the North American robotics market. According to the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), these numbers show increases of 37% in units sold (up from 21,072) and 35% in value (up from $1.09 billion) over the same period in 2020 and surpass the previous highest record from 2017 by 5.8% and 0.5%.

    “In Q3 alone, North American companies ordered 9,928 robots valued at $513 million, up 32% and 35% respectively over the third quarter of 2020. This marks the third highest quarter ever in units ordered …”

  3. KT2, what’s the real comparative cost of them electrifying rail without onboard battery energy storage? They say upfront financial cost is prohibitive, but what of lifetime comparisons? Maybe Tesla left fingerprints on this?

    Battery farms could be, of course, but need not necessarily be part of the grid feeding the electrified rail. The electric generator and motor(s) of diesel locomotives are there to match the impedance (gearing, leverage) of the ice motor output to the wheels. A straight electric locomotive even powered by grid electricity sourced from coal fired generation is a cleaner emitter than the diesel-electric due to better energy conversion efficiencies. I suppose there is the embedded emissions from the electrified rail infrastructure vs the embedded emissions from the battery lifecycles themselves plus those from lugging onboard battery mass to consider…

  4. An invention and system of electrifying trucks and fast swappable battery exchange stations along major truck routes in Australia made news earlier this year. Memories of the video clips seen with the reportage were quite impressive, and have stayed with me. I’ve been waiting on news of long distance inland Melbourne-Brisbane commercial trials that were then reported as set to occur in December. Well, it seems as if things are going ahead soon, but on the Sydney-Brisbane coastal route.

    Electrifying Australia’s road transport fleet with tomorrows technology, today.
    FAQ When is this technology going to be commercially available in Australia?
    Janus Electric expects to have trials completed of a further four electric prime movers and subsequent commercial application ready to commence by the end of 2021. We aim to have our first commercially available electric vehicles on the road during 2022.

    Janus Electric inventor and founder Beven Dooley BET videos from one year to five months ago:


    Swap and go?
    Swapping out depleted batteries, rather than stopping to recharge, is a great solution for trucks: they make regular trips along major routes with regulated rest stops for drivers, which means you only need battery-swapping stations at key points along the routes.

    However, battery swapping for ordinary passenger vehicles may be a different story. It has been tried before, but didn’t take off.

    A US-based company called Better Place, founded in 2007, got as far as setting up trial stations (with one even planned for Canberra). But the company collapsed in 2013.

    210430 com/news/why-australias-trucks-might-go-electric-sooner-than-cars

    Trucks make up 20% of the vehicles in Australia, and Australia’s transport emissions are still growing.

    Australia’s motor vehicles consume more than 33 billion litres of fuel each year. The transport sector was responsible for about 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2019.

    Australia spent some A$31 billion in 2019 to import oil, with half used for road transport. This not only affects Australia’s balance of trade, but poses a risk to our freight industry (including supermarket deliveries) if geopolitical instability affects fuel imports (which mainly come from just a few countries).

    Innovative solutions such as the truck battery swap system mean that not only big companies but also sole operators can make the change, by converting existing trucks and leasing batteries.

    A typical articulated truck uses 53.1 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres. A trip from Brisbane to Sydney could cost more than A$600 in fuel (which you, the consumer, help pay for when you purchase transported goods). Going electric would not only at least halve that cost but reduce maintenance costs and reduce emissions, even if batteries are recharged from the grid.

    Developed by Janus Electric, the batteries can be swapped in three minutes, removing the need for trucks to plug in and charge for up to 12 hours.
    The batteries will reportedly average between 400-600km a charge


    Janus Electric’s battery exchange system is currently designed for Class 8 Prime Movers and, though the lithium-ion batteries – which measure in at 2-metres by 1.2-metres – cost $AU120,000 apiece, the company has developed a per-use business model that is aimed at reducing upfront investment for operators.

    Users can either pay $110 per battery use, or $140 per 24 hours, and instead of having to charge the batteries themselves, operators simply swap the batteries out for freshly charged batteries at one of the charge-and-change stations along the route.

    The current trial route runs from Brisbane to Sydney and will boast charge-and-change stations located strategically to coincide with existing mandatory driver fatigue breaks. Initial stations will be located at Hemmant in Brisbane, Taree and Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway, and Prestons in Sydney.

    Claiming world first patented technology, the Janus’ truck is an electric-converted Kenworth T403.

    Developed by professional engineers led by co-founder Bevan Dooley and transport operators, Janus batteries aim to remove the need for heavy electric vehicles to plug in and charge for 12 hours.

    Instead, the revolutionary solution can be swapped out in three minutes with a fully charged battery ready to go, thereby increasing vehicle utilisation and all but eliminating downtime.

    Janus Electric general manager Lex Forsyth believes the exchangeable battery is a game changer for the transport industry globally.

    Existing fleets can now be converted to electric drive for the same cost as refurbishing a diesel engine, the company nots.

    Forsyth adds that it takes less than a week for Janus to convert any existing heavy duty prime mover into an electric vehicle.

    “This means fleet operators can cost-effectively undertake mass electrification of their entire fleet for the same cost of re-working a diesel engine,” he says.

    “There are substantial cost savings to fleet electrification.

    “The Janus solution can deliver up to a 30 per cent reduction in maintenance and operating costs.

    “There are positive benefits for the drivers fatigue management and overall health and well-being with the Janus conversion from diesel to electric through the reduction of vibration, noise and harmful fumes.

    “Janus is a technology-led business with a smart solution that will benefit everyone within the transport ecosystem from governments to large scale fleet operators, individual owner drivers and renewable energy providers.”

  5. KT2: I’ve been trying without success to interest operators of high-speed trains in a scheme to partially replace expensive 25kv catenaries on new HSR projects with auxiliary batteries to allow trainsets tomove autonomously *in sidings and stations*, where even the fastest trains slow to 50 kph or so.

  6. 1.5 degrees or bust

    The path to limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees by mitigation alone is still just open, but it is rapidly closing. We have to start contingency planning for failure. This means massive carbon removal.

    The UN staff analysed the current NDCs in September and came up with a mean estimate of global warming by 2100 of 2.7 degrees. If you take account of policy announcements made for media effect at or just before the conference, this edges down, maybe significantly . Morrison’s policy-free net zero announcement can safely be ignored, but Modi’s cautious “net zero by 2070” was coupled with a raised target of 500 GW of renewables in India by 2030, which makes a real difference. Vietnam signed up to a coal exit pledge. Some snap analyses, taking all these new targets at face value, give the current-policy outcome at 2 degrees or just under. But so what? If Glasgow achieved one thing, it was to focus attention on 1.5 degrees C as the worst the world can live with. It will be quite bad enough

    The carbon budget for staying within 1.5 degrees is only ≈10 years at current rates of emission. Staying within it implies annual reductions of ≈7% from now on. There is no sign of anything like this being planned, or driven by market forces outside the remarkably fast switch to electric vehicles (current global CAGR of 27%). Chances are we will overshoot the 1,5 degree budget.

    So the world will be forced into gigatonne carbon removal, passing net zero downwards not in 2050 but soon after 2035. The technology and infrastructure for this does not exist. It will have to be developed by 2030, and early deployment has to start soon afterwards to secure the learning curve. The effort needed makes the Manhattan Project look like tinkering.

    This is not a cheerful prospect. There are two strong objections to spending fortunes on carbon removal, and you hear them from climate hawks, not denialists.

    One is that carbon removal is promoted in bad faith. It’s a scam to allow the fossil fuel industries to continue trashing the planet. This capture has led to scarce public R&D funds being shovelled at bolt-on additions to the smokestacks of coal generating plants, in expensive projects that have almost all failed miserably. Our esteemed host has written sound pieces on this. Meanwhile, far more promising geochemical ideas (olivine weathering, deep injection into basalt) and biological ones (seaweed dumping, biochar, basalt on farmland, GM’d plants) have bee neglected. The argument goes on that carbon removal allows denialist and delayist politicians and businessmen to evade their duty to promote rapid deployment of renewables and energy-saving, which work fine.

    The second objection is that carbon removal is and will remain a colossal waste of money. Why spend $50 to remove a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere when you can avoid emitting it at $0 per tonne opportunity cost with wind and solar? This glaring imbalance will still be true in 2030 and 2035. Excess CO2 in the atmosphere is the ultimate externality. I can´t see carbon removal ever paying for itself. It is the largest socialist project in history.

    My response to both objections is to admit their truth but plead TINA. Three decades of masterly inaction since Rio, engineered by the fossil fuel industries, have left us with no alternative to a deeply flawed, risky and wasteful course of action. So let’s bite our tongues and get started.

    Recent history offers a reassuring analogy. At about the time of the 1973 oil crisis, governments or developed countries ramped up research into energies not controlled by OPEC. They threw money at the wall, supporting nuclear fission (much the favourite), fusion, wave, geothermal, thermal solar, OTEC, biomass ethanol, fuel cells, concentrating solar PV, plain solar PV, wind, HVDC, and a few scraps for batteries. As things turned out, the last four turned out to be sufficient for a full fossil exit, though they could not have guessed this at the time. It´s in the nature of ambitious long-shot research that most of the money is wasted. This will definitely happen with carbon removal. The key thing is not guessing winners right but casting a wide net to ensure that winners are caught.

    There is one unexpected bonus. Assume the can-opener. Cheap and effective carbon removal technology would allow us to ask: why stop at 1.5 degrees? This will not be a comfortable place. Pre-industrial CO2 was around 300 ppm, and the title of 350.Org has a solid scientific basis, Anecdotally, the weather started turning really nasty a few years ago, roughly when we hit 1 degree of warming. On the way down, that would be a good place to take stock and decide whether to carry on.

  7. James Wimberley: – “The path to limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees by mitigation alone is still just open, but it is rapidly closing.

    James, sorry to disappoint, but +1.5 °C global mean warming is INEVITABLE and likely BEFORE 2030, irrespective of any actions humanity may take in the interim.

    See my comments at:

    And also at:

    We/humanity will be lucky to avoid crossing the +2.0 °C global mean warming threshold.

    Also see Ian Dunlop’s presentation titled Climate Change Realities on Nov 8, in the YouTube video titled 8 Nov 21 Bradfield in Conversation with Ian Dunlop and Freddy Sharpe: Never Waste a Good Crisis from time interval 0:17:19 through to 0:34:20

  8. The almost uninsurable Adani has a loaded coal train again on the way from the mine to the port after breaking down. Ensure it is uninsurable and stop it for good:

  9. Goff Miell: I see little value in relitigating here an issue that was fully discussed in the earlier COP-26 thread. Clearly, if you are right, the case for a crash programme on carbon removal technology is even stronger, the timetable shorter, and the optimum budget higher.

  10. James Wimberley: – “I see little value in relitigating here an issue that was fully discussed in the earlier COP-26 thread.

    Well, if you were aware of the issue fully discussed in the earlier COP-26 thread, then why are you still relitigating in this thread the false narrative of there still being a chance of keeping at or below 1.5 °C global mean warming threshold, when it’s not supported by the scientific evidence?

    JW: – “Clearly, if you are right, the case for a crash programme on carbon removal technology is even stronger, the timetable shorter, and the optimum budget higher.

    I’d suggest that’s why it’s called a climate emergency by some who understand what’s really happening and what’s at stake, but many political and business leaders still aren’t behaving it like it is.

  11. It’s not a “false narrative”. There is a genuine scientific disagreement on the matter, and as an amateur i go, as does our host, with the mainstream opinion- Why do you insist on trailing your red herring across my argument on something else?

  12. James Wimberley,

    The material point is this. Where there is uncertainty or disagreement about whether there are any chances left of staying below 1.5 degree increase and where reassessments are already suggesting that even a 1.5 degrees increase could be far more dangerous than we thought previously, THEN a fat tail risk approach suggests being very over-cautious and acting as early and as radically as possible.

    The clear trend over the last 30 years in climate science has been that mainstream consensus opinion has been consistently wrong on the side of underestimating scale and rapidity of climate risk and climate change. That being the case, continuing to rely heavily on mainstream, conservative opinion and to ignore fat tail risk is a very bad bet. The likelihood that such bet is wrong is high (it now appears to be approaching 50-50) and if the bet is wrong, the outcome is catastrophic. By contrast, it is certainly worth taking the troubles and risks of changing over too fast. The costs of changing over too slowly will be catastrophic. The risk of changing over too fast is actually small, especially when we consider climate system lags. What appears to be an over-rapid change-over initially will soon, in all likelihood, turn out to be barely in time IF we are lucky.

    To some extent, mainstream climate opinion is, or has been, captured. Their advanced science is very good of course but they are continually influenced by governments, corporations and money to err on the side of conservative interpretations and “less worse” scenarios. Their empirical record to date supports this contention. They (the IPCC) have considerably and continually underestimated danger points and when we will reach them.

    “How the IPCC Underestimated Climate Change – Here are just eight examples of where the IPCC missed predictions By Glenn Scherer, on December 6, 2012”

    “IPCC steps up warning on climate tipping points in leaked draft report – Scientists increasingly concerned about thresholds beyond which recovery may become impossible” – The Guardian.

    “On the brink: the scenario the IPCC isn’t modelling – Latest report from the intergovernmental body forces us to face reality: we are literally on the brink of the abyss” – Daniel Tanuro, Canadian Dimension.

  13. James, keep on trying “to partially replace expensive 25kv catenaries on new HSR projects with auxiliary batteries”.

    Svante, yes many options which need a JQ to sort.

    Molded carbon fibre layered supercapacitors > batteries. These may appear 3-5yrs after eF1 makes chassis as battery.

    Fun: And at Alibaba it seems, you may then make fantasy vehicles come true! I liked the 16 person ‘stretch limo’ trike. And Beer bike as a service to ferry drunkards home from the pub.

    Why not make the train itself, a battery?

    “The Batteries of the Future Are Weightless and Invisible

    “There’s a renaissance underway in structural battery research, which aims to build energy storage into the very devices and vehicles they power.

    “The one made for the Volvo trunk consisted of two layers of carbon fiber infused with iron oxide and magnesium oxide, separated by an insulating layer. The whole stack was wrapped in laminate and molded into the shape of the trunk.

    “Supercapacitors don’t hold nearly as much energy as a battery, but they’re great at rapidly delivering small amounts of electric charge. Greenhalgh says that they’re also easier to work with and were a necessary stepping stone toward accomplishing the same thing with a battery. The Volvo was a proof of concept that structural energy storage was viable in an EV, and the success of the Storage project generated a lot of hype about structural batteries. But despite that enthusiasm, it took a few years to procure more funding from the European Commission to push the technology to the next level. “This is a very challenging technology and something that’s not going to be solved with a few million pounds thrown at it,” says Greenhalgh of the financing difficulties. “We got a lot more funding, and now it’s really starting to snowball.”

    “Complete list of the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicles of the Week

    > I actually bought a cheap electric pickup truck from Alibaba. Here’s what showed up

    > Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week: This 12-seater ‘vintage’ electric car

    > Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week: A 7-seater Electric Beer Bike

  14. James Wimberley: – “It’s not a “false narrative”.

    So, let me get this straight, James: Are you disagreeing with the scientific evidence, as communicated by some key climate scientists, like Schellnhuber, Hansen, Steffen, Rockström, etc.?

    James, are you disagreeing with the paleo-historical record of the Mid-Pliocene age?

    Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in at least the past 800,000 years. In fact, the last time the atmospheric CO₂ amounts were this high was more than 3 million years ago, during the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period, when temperature was 2°–3°C (3.6°–5.4°F) higher than during the pre-industrial era, and sea level was 15–25 meters (50–80 feet) higher than today.

    That’s the “reality lab” that Schellnhuber referred to in the Q&A following his Aurelio Peccei Lecture on 17 Oct 2018.

    JW: – “…as an amateur i go, as does our host, with the mainstream opinion…

    I remind you that our host is not a climate scientist, and seems to me to be unaware of (or is it dismisses/downplays?) some key scientific evidence concerning the reality of the current temperature trajectory of the Earth System.

    I’d suggest “mainstream opinion” errs on the side of least drama, and is manipulated with propaganda by powerful vested interests to try to maintain the status quo, and is propagated by many willing politicians, business leaders, the media and other participants.

    JW: – “Why do you insist on trailing your red herring across my argument on something else?

    Please provide compelling scientific evidence that refutes what I’m presenting and to support your previous statement: “The path to limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees by mitigation alone is still just open…

  15. GM “Please provide compelling scientific evidence that refutes what I’m presenting and to support your previous statement:”

    This is a blog Geoff. A great one but still, a blog.

    Scientists do what you are asking James to do. Not on blogs. You and I and Svante & Ikon could probably do a great meta study of the literature you propose. I note Nature has already done that, then and polled scientists re temp rise – from memory over 40% say 3deg rise. If we asked the question differently we may see that 40% be the harbingers of less than >3?

    Who’s to say Bozos, Musk, Waltons, Gates & BHathaway pool their money, and fund transmission for renewables everywhere on earth in the next decade allowing for carbon replacement faster? They would own power delivery.

    Not hope. Just a potential. Until that potential is expunged and extinct many will lean towards optimism. Which may not help. But catastrophic prognostications are in the same bag as “prove it”. Still NOT a null set.

    James said above he has actually tried to get trains to lessen pollution.

    I think saying ‘wow thanks James and…’, may allow the red herring an easier path across James’ personal opinions. Thankfully shared here for us. He is on your side. Thanjs fir your contributions too.

    Your quotes are correct. So are JQ’s and James’. It is not over yet.

    Otherwise it is a sandpit-y.

  16. Ikon, this may be just for you.

    “Models and Idealizations in Science

    “Models and Idealizations in Science: Artifactual and Fictional Approaches (Springer, 2021). 

    “The commented bibliography at end of the book complements this narrative by offering a classified list of the main relevant books on models and idealizations in science preceded by short commentaries intended to guide the search for further readings on the different topics. 

    “The rest of the book is a collection of ten previously unpublished articles by different philosophers of science, who deal with a wealth of topics concerning models and idealizations in science. Among the many issues they address, it can be mentioned the artifactual view of idealization, the use of information theory to elucidate the concepts of abstraction and idealization, the deidealization of models, the nature of scientific fictions, the fiction view of models defended from its critics, the structural account of representation and the ontological status of structures, the role of surrogative reasoning with models, and the use of models for predicting and explaining physical phenomena.”

    “This book also aims at contributing to the clarification of these and other concepts that belong to the toolkit with which philosophers of science address such questions as what models are, what they are used for, and how they represent -if they do it- the phenomena we encounter in the real world.”…

  17. A Consequence of the Pandemic. Definitely worth “keeping 6 million children from poverty in July 2021 alone (a reduction of more than 40 percent)”.

    “Child poverty drops in July with the Child Tax Credit expansion


    “In July 2021, the first payments of the expanded Child Tax Credit were delivered to 59.3 million children nationwide as part of ongoing economic relief efforts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Rescue Plan, passed in March, made three important changes to the Child Tax Credit for 2021: increasing benefit levels; expanding access to reach children in families with the lowest incomes; and paying the benefit out in monthly installments. 

    “Using our innovative approach to tracking monthly poverty rates, we project that ongoing COVID relief efforts continue to have a sizable effect on reducing child poverty keeping 6 million children from poverty in July 2021 alone (a reduction of more than 40 percent). This impact also resulted in a notable drop in child poverty between June and July 2021, due primarily to the rollout of the expanded Child Tax Credit. On its own, this new payment kept 3 million children from poverty in its first month.”

  18. I’ll be able to afford a Tesla! “Tesla will ramp the price down. All the way to 20K in 2026 or 2027.” 

    Lucid Air named MotorTrend Car of the Year which drew out this comment re Tesla teardown build price, of which I was unaware;

    “Commenter says ”  Re: $140,000.00 car (+1)
    140Mandak262Jamuna 3 hours ago

    “It will come down much faster than most people realize. First two tear downs of Model 3 in 2018 shocked the entire auto industry. German tear down priced it at 28K to build. Sandy Munro came out with 32 – 35 K to build. Leaked internal email of Tesla had it around 36K. Tesla cumulative production has since doubled and doubled again. Each doubling reduces cost by 20%. Even without esoteric tech we can be sure Model 3 is now around 20K to 22K.

    “Since Tesla is constrained by production, not demand, it is going for the highest margin product it can for the capacity it has. Only when the demand above 45K is filled and sated it will reduce the price and introduce cheaper versions. But as soon as the demand slackens at those prices, Tesla will ramp the price down. All the way to 20K in 2026 or 2027.”

    Tesla won this in 2012. At USD$140k it won’t save the planet.

    “Lucid Air named MotorTrend Car of the Year

    …” judges lauded the Lucid Air for its extraordinary range and efficiency — some versions can go up to 520 miles on a single charge — as well as its performance and luxurious interior.

    …”In its announcement, MotorTrend called the Air “the new [electric vehicle] benchmark.” 

    “Despite its high cost, MotorTrend’s judges thought the Lucid Air represented a strong value. They tested the Grand Touring version with a starting price around $140,000. Less expensive versions, with prices starting around $77,000, will be available later, but they won’t have the driving range and power of the pricier cars.

    “Lucid’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, once worked at Tesla and helped engineer the Model S. In creating the Lucid Air, he has said, efficiency has been a primary focus. The Lucid is actually the most energy efficient electric car sold in America, according to EPA estimates.”…

  19. KT2: – “Your quotes are correct. So are JQ’s and James’.

    My quotes indicate the Earth System will inevitably overshoot +1.5 °C; JQ’s and James’ indicate there’s a chance it won’t. It seems to me we can’t all be correct. I’d suggest we will have a good indication by 2025 where the Earth System temperature (and CO2 emissions) trajectory is heading.

    KT2: – “James said above he has actually tried to get trains to lessen pollution.

    So is Alstom, with a demonstration of a prototype multiple-unit dual energy (catenary/battery storage) electric passenger train on Sep 7:

    So is Siemens:

    The 47m-long 15 kV, 16.7 Hz trains will be fitted with lithium-ion batteries that will be charged when the train is operating on electric power. Regenerative braking will also power the batteries which will have a range of more than 90km when operating on non-electrified lines.

    And also Bombardier (acquired by Alstom this year):

  20. Some consequences of the pandemic bring to mind Joseph Tainter’s thesis on complexity. Ships’ crews are assembled from around the world, manufacture is done in stages in different countries and then assembled in another before being shipped and so on. The whole complex web was hit with delays, gaps, choke points, and the cost of shipping has risen several fold while times have blown out. A container that ten years ago cost $800 to land in Aus from Shanghai now costs $8,000 or more. It will be some time before ‘normal service’ is resumed, as those rates are being quoted for shipping dates well into 2022.

  21. I would try not to buy conflict diamonds. Yet it looks like a third of carbon by this analysis is aquired in conflict zones.

    Periodic table by abundance, carbon and conflict resources. Elements used in mobile phones marked with phone icon. 

    Red = serious threat in next 100yrs. 
    Orange = rising threat from increased use.
    Yellow = Limited availability risk to future supply
    Green = plentiful
    White = synthetic (element?)
    Black = From conflict zones

    Suggested enhancement – profit / money / finance / economics / ownership / future rights – associated with elements. I’d say carbon then would take up (I don’t know) percentage of economic activity. Any pointers?

    “This updated version of the EuChemS Periodic Table graphically highlights the problems of carbon in our world now. If we behave responsibly by cutting our dependence on fossil fuels and never using it from conflict resources, we can save our beautiful and diverse planet and restore carbon to its rightful green colour.”

    “The European Chemical Society (EuChemS) is releasing an updated version of its iconic Periodic Table, first produced for the International Year of the Periodic Table in 2019.

    “The main change to the EuChemS Periodic Table is to convert the colour of carbon from the benign green colour to a tricolour of green, red and dark grey.

    “Green because it is plentifully available in the form of carbon dioxide (too plentiful), carbonate rocks and vegetation.
    “Red because it will very shortly cause serious problems if we do nothing to restrict its use.
    “Grey because it can come from conflict resources.

    “Support notes, which explain in more details the updates made to the EuChemS Periodic Table (2021), are available for download here.

    “Support notes for teachers are available for download here.

  22. Review… with verrrry long paragraphs. Well worth it for… “But Graeber and Wengrow’s accomplishment in this book is to show how, in prejudice too, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, or, rather, the way in which the social reproduction of inequality with each new generation has something to do with our presumption of progress, which is to say our presumption of the inequality, the not-quite-humanness, of our ancestors in relation to us. The past is not so much a foreign country, as it is an Indian reservation, where, if it looks from the outside like the inhabitants are not thriving, one has the convenience of imagining that this is because they don’t know what thriving is.” From:

    “The Dawn of EverythingOn David Graeber and David Wengrow’s New History of Humanity

    By Justin E. H. Smith

    “We have long attempted to bracket all “pre-state” societies into a chronological period known as “prehistory”, so that it comes out as trivially true that for as long as there has been history, there has been the state. But Graeber and Wengrow have made the most significant case yet that there is no good reason to do this. In fact the state is itself as adaptable as its supposed subjects; it can wax and wane with the seasons; it is not nearly as monolithic and necessary as we typically take it to be, and as all the other recent “big histories” of humanity have supposed it is.

    “The Dawn of Everything is clearly packaged and published as a conscious intervention in a discussion that has been dominated over recent years by Pinker, Diamond, and Harari. Sometimes it is annoying in the same way their works are, for reasons that, one suspects, were imposed in the editorial process and that have nothing to do with the authors’ natural styles. It is a welcome intervention, and a strong reason for hope that anarchist anthropology may have its place, alongside —what shall we call it?— plutocratic psychology and related endeavors, in helping us to understand what humanity is and how we got to be this way.”

  23. When will the ABC stop having to air shoddy far right talking points in an effort to avoid further funding cuts ? Amanda Vandstones introduction to a story about the dangers of positive discrimination stated that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’ and her American guests logic was embarrassingly flawed. Tom Switzers show is dangerously biased and clearly reflexively pro American at every opportunity.

    Why do decent ABC radio journalists waste time harassing Anthony Albenese about petrol prices ,trying to make him guarantee they wont go up ,during his interviews ? And why ask him if calling Morrison ‘the liar from the shire’ is a good idea given how the public image of politics has degraded recently ?.

    Tiny Trump Morrison has been testing an ‘enemy of the people ‘ type tactic against ” the media” .Now after extremists rallied in Melbourne calling for politicians to be assassinated he has had a go at the ‘good people on both sides ‘ line too .

  24. Sunshine, it is not just Journo’s as you say: “Why do decent ABC radio journalists waste time harassing Anthony Albenese about petrol prices”.

    Question Time! Arrggghhh! I contacted a Fed Labor Senator to try to get Albo to ask a question, not a rant. The reply ” we have to because they do” No use trying to sway ministers and minders without power.

    The ABC journo’s you bemoan, need a spine again which is now confined to 4 Corners due to budget cuts and “balance’: read as you say “When will the ABC stop having to air shoddy far right talking points in an effort to avoid further funding cuts ? “. Good question.

    And ‘The Economists’ with one half of the team still promoting Ivermectin.

    Balance seems relative to power at the ABC now.

    Tiny Trump needs to be labelled ‘fake lumpen altenative whistling dog’. FLAWD.

  25. Stable Coins seem ti be the threat to fiat currency.

    …” In ST, stablecoins backed by actual USD (e.g. USDC, Paxos dollar, Tether) are a ready threat to countries’ monetary sovereignty.

    “These USD-backed stablecoins create a money supply that countries do not control. Here’s how it works…”

    “Crypto Will Eat Fiat. But It’s Not in the Way You Think

    “It will be a major problem for countries whose native currency is less stable than USD, which is most of emerging markets & developing world. It’ll be dollarization on steroid.

    “But even for countries w/ stable currency, including America, the metaverse coins pegged to fiat, if used in real commerce, introduces a separate money supply outside the purview of central bank.

    “For the algebraically inclined, it used to be that price level of goods & services denominated in fiat (P) is a function of money supply (M), money velocity (V) & real GDP (Y). Central bank can influence the entire M through monetary policy:

    “But w/ stablecoins from metaverse circulating in real life, price level is determined by both tradFi money supply (M_tradFi) & metaverse money supply (M_mv), the latter not much affected by central bank actions:

    “What affects metaverse money supply (M_mv) & its velocity (V_mv) then?

    “This brings me to—

    “Rehypothecation is the fractional reserve banking for crypto.

    “Fractional reserve system was the old way of money creation: Alice deposits $100 at Bank A. Bank A lends $60 to Bob. Bob deposits the $60 at Bank B. You now have $160 created in banking system from original $100.

    “But nowadays money creation more & more relies on collateral reuse, or the fancy name “Rehypothecation”: Alice borrows $100 from Bank A using her house as collateral. Bank A re-pledges the house to borrow $60 from Bank B. The same collateral is now used to create two loans.

    “Rehypothecation & securitization are the main ways of money creation in deFi. Just replace “house” with BTC or ETH (and soon, NFTs).

  26. Tell me in the sandpit to pipe down or keep posting.

    First & second type [ fertile] economists (JQ?) reminiscent of Economics in Two Leasons.

    “More than Economists

    Nov 12, 2021

    “While systematic thinkers close a subject, leaving their followers with “normal” science to fill up the learned journals, fertile ones open their disciplines to critical scrutiny, for which they rarely get credit. Three recent biographies show how this has been the fate of three great economists who were marginalized by their profession.

    Jeremy Adelman, 
    Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman, 
    Princeton University Press, 2013.

    Charles Camic, 
    Veblen: The Making of an Economist Who Unmade Economics,
    Harvard University Press, 2020.

    Zachary D. Carter, 
    The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes,
    Random House, 2020.

    “LONDON – There are two types of extraordinary economist. The first type includes pioneers of the field such as David Ricardo, William Stanley Jevons, and, in our own time, Robert Lucas. They all aimed toeconomize knowledge in order to explain the largest possible amount of behavior with the smallest possible number of variables.

    “The second category, which includes Thorstein Veblen, John Maynard Keynes, and Albert O. Hirschman, sought to broadeneconomic knowledge in order to understand motives and norms of behavior excluded by mainstream analysis but important in real life. The first type of economist is fiercely exclusive; the second has tried, largely in vain, to make economics more inclusive.

    “The first type of economist rather than the second has come to define the field, owing partly to the successful drive to professionalize the production of knowledge. Economics and other social sciences . ..”…

    And a more ‘normal’ review of “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity”. This quote “”Graeber and Wengrow’s dearest aspiration is to quicken that laughter [at authority and out of court] once again.”… seems a worthy idea. Anarchism not anarchy.

    “Early Civilizations Had It All Figured Out

    “A contrarian account of our prehistory argues that cities once flourished without rulers and rules—and still could.

    “The two scholars came to see, however, that to inquire after the “origins” of inequality was to defer to one of two myths—roughly, Hobbes’s or Rousseau’s—based on a deeply ingrained and deeply misleading fantasy of the human career. The product of their extended collaboration, 

    “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity”
    (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), is a profuse and antic account of how we came to take that old narrative for granted and why we might be better off if we let it go.”…

    ‘Though Graeber and Wengrow have marshalled a vast amount of archeological evidence, they acknowledge that much of what anyone has to say about ancient societies is speculative. Their hope is that, even if some of their examples remain dubious, the accumulated weight of recent findings—and the more inventive assortment of political organization they imply—establishes the glib tendentiousness of Big History. As they put it, “We are at least trying to see what happens when we drop the teleological habit of thought.”

    Graeber and Wengrow hope that, once we grasp how ancient mega-sites (in Ukraine or in Jomon-era Japan) could grow large and manifold without a literate bureaucracy, or the way early literate societies (Uruk, in Mesopotamia) might have managed the trick of participatory self-governance, we might renew and expand our own cramped notions of what’s politically tenable. We could come to detach progress from obedience. As they put it, “Humans may not have begun their history in a state of primordial innocence, but they do appear to have begun it with a self-conscious aversion to being told what to do. If this is so, we can at least refine our initial question: the real puzzle is not when chiefs, or even kings and queens, first appeared, but rather when it was no longer possible to simply laugh them out of court.”

    “Graeber and Wengrow’s dearest aspiration is to quicken that laughter [at authority and out of court] once again.”…

  27. To summarize Climate Reality Check headings:

    1. Warming is 1.2 C and accelerating.

    2. The IPCC and the climate model it relies upon do not capture all the risks.

    3. 1.5 C is not a safe target.

    4. 1.5 C of warming is likely around 2030.

    5. 1.0 C is very dangerous and, on the current emission path, likely before 2050.

    6. There is no carbon budget for 2.0 C with a low risk of overshoot.
    (Higher temperatures will result from greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.)

    7. A cascade of tipping points is unfurling.
    (Some tipping points have been passed, others are close at hand.)

    8. 2.0 C may trigger a “hothouse earth” scenario of self-reinforcing warming.
    (We are perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of our control.)

    9. 3.0 C warming would be catastrophic.

    10. The world is on a 2.0 C to 3.6 C warming path by 2100.

    11. Sea levels will likely rise by tens of meters

    12. Reducing emissions levels alone will have no significant impact on warming trend over next two decades.

    These are enough headings to go on with. The rest of the headings are mainly about what we need to do to prevent human extinction and eco-collapse. What we need to do is so critical and exacting and what COP26 commits to doing (ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!) are so far apart that the real chances of us doing anything are effectively ZERO. It’s already too late. Humanity has completely doomed itself and much other (all other?) macro and meso life. There is noshing to be done, most likely. People can keep on trying. Even I will. But realistically there is no hope and we need to make peace with that.

  28. Correction above:

    5. 2.0 C is very dangerous and, on the current emission path, likely before 2050.

  29. I think there is a lot of opportunity for battery electric rail in combination with electrified track – not a new idea, at least with respect to passenger trains over short runs, which include more recent conversions of diesel electric trains.

    Whether using dedicated battery wagons that can be shunted in and out – should not be technically challenging – or strategic electrifying of hill climbs and station stops and sidings to charge batteries it looks quite achievable to me. It doesn’t require it – grids can draw on renewable energy from far and wide – but I think many rail corridors would also be suited to solar PV.

    It seems like “low hanging” to me, but it won’t happen until there is a committed committed policy to make zero emissions rail happen.

  30. Everyone has a little pet idea which they think will save the world. It’s not that kind of problem. Without radical system change and radical de-growth there is no solution (which is just another pet idea of course). Why has it proven impossible for humans in a modern globalized civilization to take any effective action against climate change? The basic reasons are:

    A. Capitalism – Capitalism as a system is committed to endless growth. The debt model of money commits the system to attempted endless growth to repay debt. That is the model and command system of capitalism. Debt model capital operations ARE the command system and the command endless growth.

    B. Geo-strategic competition – The biggest economy can maintain the biggest military. No large nation will voluntarily constrain or de-grow its economy to prevent climate change.

    C. Jevon’s Paradox or a variation thereof – Any new source of energy leads to greater total energy consumption because of A and B above. There is little to no voluntary retirement of dirty energy sources.

    D. The nature of humans. – This is not judgemental, simply observational. Humans evolved to sense and viscerally react to proximal dangers, meaning near-term and near-at-hand dangers. Climate change does not fit this danger-sensing model. It is distant, requires instruments (not basic senses) to detect and operates with long lag-times. By the time humans sense the dangers with their bodily senses, it is already far too late to act. The time scales and physical scales of the events involved are also beyond natural human imagination which is linked to the human sensory scale. Causal chains are too long to be easily comprehended, except by trained experts.

    Of course, we have to hope against hope. Individuals and families should attempt to consume less overall and less fossil fuels in particular. New sovereign money principles need to be followed in a “re-claim the state” fashion. If we could re-claim the state we could do something, possibly. While neoliberal capitalism remains in charge, real action is impossible.

  31. “A. Capitalism – Capitalism as a system is committed to endless growth. The debt model of money commits the system to attempted endless growth to repay debt. That is the model and command system of capitalism. Debt model capital operations ARE the command system and the command endless growth.”

    That is what needs to be changed to have a more inclusive and functional economy. But you would have a fight on your hands if that is what you are after.

    I’ve approved this comment, but kept the commenter on automoderation for the moment. We’ll see if this works to prevent sock puppeting – JQ

  32. Geoff Miell says:at 8:38 pm
    . ..”I’d suggest we will have a good indication by 2025 where the Earth System temperature (and CO2 emissions) trajectory is heading.”…

    Good to wait until 2025? Or Reciprical Scoring of Superforecasters now. The answer for me ends in questions; How do we enshine the future in legislation now, and win over popular imagination?

    Tetlock et al, via astralcodexten.

    “Reciprocal Scoring, Part II
    “I talked about this last week as a potential solution to the problem of long-term forecasting. Instead of waiting a century to see what happens, get a bunch of teams, and incentivize each to predict what theothers will guess. If they all expect the others to strive for accuracy, then the stable Schelling point is the most accurate answer.

    “Now there’s a paper, by Karger, Monrad, Mellers, and Tetlock – Reciprocal Scoring: A Method For Forecasting Unanswerable Questions.”…

    …” (this is just the endogeneity problem, but for the future instead of the past!)

    “They admit that you’ve got to be really careful with this. If there are a lot of low-quality forecasters in the tournament, then since high-quality forecasters will accurately predict that low-quality forecasters will give a low-quality answer, everyone will converge on the low-quality answer.”…

    Prediction market links from above;

    “Will daily atmospheric CO2 be above 414 ppm on November 13, 2021?

    This question community says by 2099! Yet commemters debate and suggestions make it a worthy post imo….

    “Total Predictions 1
    Total Forecasters 1
    Community Prediction > Dec 31, 2099

    “When will direct air capture technology cost less than $50 per metric ton of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere?

    “When will Australia commission its first nuclear-powered submarine?
    Community Prediction 
    Oct 12, 2041

    “XiXiDu on times when expert forecasts were repeatedly wrong:

    “The core contribution of [Reciprocal Scoring] RS is its power to create accountability for accuracy in policy debates that have long been stalemated by the absence of accountability.” … sounds great.

    “Reciprocal Scoring: A Method for Forecasting Unanswerable Questions

    68 Pages

    Posted: 18 Nov 2021

    Ezra Karger
    Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

    Joshua Monrad
    University of Oxford – Future of Humanity Institute

    Barb Mellers
    University of Pennsylvania, Psychology; University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School

    Philip Tetlock
    University of Pennsylvania

    Date Written: October 31, 2021


    “We propose an elicitation method, Reciprocal Scoring (RS), that challenges forecasters to predict the forecasts of other forecasters. Two studies show how RS can generate accurate forecasts of otherwise unanswerable questions. Study 1 establishes the epistemic credibility of RS: forecasters randomly assigned to use RS were as accurate as forecasters predicting objectively resolvable outcomes using a proper scoring rule—and both groups were more accurate than a control group that felt accountable to neither intersubjective RS metrics nor objective metrics. Study 2 establishes the practical value of RS. We ask highly accurate forecasters to predict each other’s forecasts of the effect of government policies on COVID-19 mortality, yielding a real-time ranking of the expected effectiveness of pandemic-containment policies. As in Study 1, RS forecasters converged but in this case on policy recommendations that stand up to scrutiny, even with the benefit of hindsight. The core contribution of RS is its power to create accountability for accuracy in policy debates that have long been stalemated by the absence of accountability.”

  33. KT2: “How do we enshine the future in legislation now, and win over popular imagination?

    People need to look at the climate science, NOT “mainstream opinion”.
    Politicians are generally not leaders, they follow “mainstream opinion”.
    Until people are aware of and accept the climate science reality and its consequences, they are unlikely to be “won over”.

    David Spratt answered some questions following his presentation to an Extinction Rebellion Australia sponsored function in the YouTube video published 12 Jun 2019, titled Climate Emergency: Is 1.5º really safe? from the respective time intervals:

    0:28:27 Is collapse avoidable?
    0:30:46 Who will lead us out of this crisis?
    0:32:45 What will be the trigger for disruption?
    0:36:52 What is the current, near-term, climate change outlook?
    0:40:25 What is the public mood for transition to a zero emissions economy?
    0:43:23 Are we using the right language to describe the problem?

    Spratt’s presentation was more than 2 years ago, and it seems the mainstream media, many business leaders, politicians and various commentators still haven’t a clue what climate change is really about.

    Schellnhuber’s Aurelio Peccei Lecture: Climate, Complexity, Conversion was on 17 Nov 2018 in the YouTube video titled Keynote Debate Can the Climate Emergency Action Plan lead to Collective Action_ (50 Years CoR) – that’s 3 years ago.

    James Hansen has been banging on about climate change for decades.

    The information is there and accessible, but I’d suggest few want to look at it. Why is that?

  34. KT2: “How do we enshine the future in legislation now, and win over popular imagination?”

    Lot’s happened in the last week. Here’s a little from the latest Climate200 newsletter today:

    In some of the biggest political news of the year, economist, businesswoman, and renewable energy advocate Allegra Spender today announced her campaign to run as the independent for the Sydney seat of Wentworth.

    Allegra is the daughter of former Liberal Party MP John Spender QC and renowned fashion designer Carla Zampatti. She has a Bachelor of Economics from Cambridge University, has lived in the electorate most of her life, and recently built Sydney’s first community solar farm — on the roof of the International Convention Centre — as Chair of the Sydney Renewable Power Company.
    As Jaqueline Maley wrote this morning, Allegra is “tailor-made to capture the blue-ribbon Liberal seat”.

    …Last weekend Voices for Hume officially endorsed Penny Ackery, a teacher and 30-year resident of Goulburn, as their candidate to run against Angus Taylor. Penny was warmly received by a crowd of more than 300, introduced by TV host and general troublemaker Julia Zemiro and Independent legend Cathy McGowan.

    These independent candidate announcements build on the momentum of recent campaign launches by Georgia Steele and Linda Seymour, both in Hughes (Craig Kelly’s seat), and Kylea Tink’s campaign for North Sydney.

    Climate 200 is here to change the game [Official Video]

    Yorkshire parish councillor becomes third to defect to Breakthrough Party from Labour

    “A NEW democratic socialist party has gained further representation in local government after a Yorkshire parish councillor switched to them from the Labour Party – just days after another similar defection.

    ..“Breakthrough has strong policy ideas and is an alternative socialist party for those who feel politically homeless at the moment.

    “It’s still in its infancy but in 10 months has come a long way and with development, strategy and continued growth, will offer people a real alternative.””

    “A NEW political party is aiming to shatter the LNP-Labor duopoly in Australia’s federal election next year.

    The New Liberals, formed in 2019, are hoping to win back “millions of disaffected voters” from both major parties, according to General Secretary Steve Hopley.

    …They also subscribe to Modern Monetary Theory, which has taken hold of progressive circles in Europe and the US.

    While the economic theory has struggled to take hold of the mainstream conversation – many major news channels still infer the economy is built like a household budget – the New Liberals are hoping to sidestep any confusion by harking back to Aussies of old.

    …“Given that MMT is at its most fundamental just a modern form of that same Keynesianism which he (Menzies) practised and which gave us our most prosperous period, all we need say is that we will be doing likewise, as the true inheritors of that tradition.”

    The party’s website reads: “Most members of The New Liberals would never have entered politics, unless they were driven to do so, by the yawning nothingness offered by the other parties.”

    It’s a sentiment echoed by many Australians towards the Liberal and Labor parties – even if, like with many promising campaigns of the past, any insurgency may end with disappointment.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s