Open Thread

Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Feb 17, 2024

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Another opportunity to practice the skills you have been acquiring to notice the methods being applied to shape opinions and emotions about an event. Alexei Navalny has died from a blood clot while serving his sentence in a Russian penal colony.

Open Thread - 02-16-24 - Get Back

The Olduvai Theory of Industrial Civilization

The Olduvai Theory was proposed originally in 1989 by Richard C. Duncan and was originally called The pulse-transient theory of industrial civilization. In 1996 Duncan published a paper The Olduvai theory: falling towards a post-industrial stone-age era and the theory was subsequently renamed The Olduvai Theory. Olduvai Gorge is considered the cradle of mankind because of the oldest human skeletal remains being discovered there, although that is controversial.

The Olduvai Theory is based primarily on peak oil theory and postulates that mankind progressed outward and upwards from its birthplace in the Olduvai Gorge and reached the apex of civilization brought on by cheap energy, and with the advent of collapse brought on by peak oil, will be on the march back to the metaphorical Gorge and the hunter-gatherer way of life.

The Olduvai Theory of Industrial Civilization

1. Pre-Industrial Phase [c. 3,000,000 BC to 1765]

  • A = Tool making begins (c. 3,000,000 BC)
  • B = Fire use begins (c. 1,000,000 BC)
  • C = Neolithic Agricultural Revolution (c. 8,000 BC)
  • D = Watt's steam engine, 1765

Interval D-E is a transition period.

2. Industrial Phase [1930 to 2025, estimated]

  • E = Industrial Civilization is defined to begin in 1930 when the leading-edge value of energy-use per person reached 37% of its peak value.
  • F = Peak of Industrial Civilization, c. 1978: confirmed by historic data published by BP, IEA, USCB, UN, etc.
  • G = World average energy-use per person continues to fall, 1996
  • H = Industrial Civilization is defined to end when energy-use per person shrinks to 37% of its peak value, forecast to occur by 2025. Life-expectancy (X) is estimated to be less than 100 years.

Interval H-I is a transition period.

3. Post-Industrial Phase [c. 2100 and beyond]

  • J, K, and L = Recurring future attempts at industrialization fail.

Source & Image Attribution

Open Thread - Thurs Feb 15 2024 - Climate Thoughts

Climate Thoughts

Like many people, I've been trying to come up with a 'plan' to get through the next year of election farce and all the fake 'concern' by TPTB about things that actually really do matter to me. But those things only matter to the politicians during election years.

For instance, the recent 'remarkable' action by the Biden administration to stop LNG... something, something mumble mumble. Ok, ok, the administration put a temporary pause on Department of Energy permits for LNG (liquified natural gas). It's a good action; but to me it seems to be a very small, very non-consequential, doesn't really mean a whole lot actually, action. It's a temporary pause, temporary. That means, to me, that as soon as the elections are done, it'll be revoked. It doesn't actually do anything to LNG sales, which will continue as before, and grow, perhaps double by 2028, because it doesn't stop the construction of the 10 new LNG ports already permitted. Yes, it temporarily halts the permits for 6 other facilities, and yes, that's a 'big' deal, in that it does halt a lot of emissions but... it doesn't do that much for things as they are right now.

So, what do we do about this? How do we deal with this feeling of ... I dunno, despair, disgust, resignation, whatever, in respect to climate? In respect to anything?

Climate Change: Flooding in California last March - image from this CNN article.

Wild and Crazy Primary Season

Even after the primaries are over, the actual nomination will probably be up for grabs.
Although Biden still has his hat in the ring, it is not likely he will run in November.
His cognitive decline has become a worldwide spectacle that cannot be combed over.
Which leaves Harris, the current VP to fill in. But her poll numbers are terrible and she has not generated any street creds in her three years in the VP seat. I don't think she has even broken a tie in the Senate.