The First Rule of Holes

Aug 12, 2018

How stop digging so fast on your way to stop digging.

The first rule of holes for human civilization would have to be to stop digging so fast on the way to stop digging. My premise here is that given how large an enterprise human civilization is that anything we do in the way of attempting to address climate change is going to take a while to ramp up and gain momentum.

I have been watching videos on You Tube recently titled put up by a fellow in Australia named John Cadogan. If you are interested in fact based information on internal combustion engines and things generally car related you cannot go far wrong watching

Refreshingly Cadogan believes in science, facts, physics and not alternative universes. This leads him to say a thing like human induced climate change is simply a scientific fact. If you haven’t watched auto expert I recommend you do so if you enjoy facts, sarcasm, delivered with humor.

I was watching one of his videos titled “Is Tesla a Cult?” however and this is where I begin seeing a blurring between the lines of objective facts and subjective bullshit a John likes to call it. John just thinks Tesla is a cult and electric cars will amount to little or nothing based on hardly any facts at all as far as I could see.

A video on fossil fuels while filled with mostly great information ventures over the same line from objective facts to subjective opinion also. Basically Cadogan thinks fossil fuels being the concentrated energy source they are has freed human beings from outright drudgery, lengthened our lifespans, and made modern life possible. Not much to disagree with here, let’s move along.

The problem I have with this objective truth is when it moves into speculation that renewable energy sources can never effectively replace any real portion of our fossil fuel legacy. Taking Cadogan at his word that climate change is real, and is a serious problem, he leaves us with no serious way to address climate change other than improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines as I understand it given his remarks.

What many pundits on electric vehicles seem to miss is the three to four x efficiency gains to be had by switching to electric drive from IC engines and the agnostic nature of EV’s as to the power source that can charge them! The EV battery just doesn’t care if the power comes from a coal power plant or a solar panel. Of course from our perspective this nuance could matter a lot.

If vehicles account for 27% of the carbon emissions worldwide not addressing them leaves a gaping hole in our efforts to say the least. EV’s combined with renewable energy and battery storage to solve the peak energy to not generating problem is an energy trifecta just too sweet to ignore.

I would venture to say that such experts a Cadogan as knowledgeable as he is just have not looked into the subject of the energy potential of renewables and how they can be developed going into the future by developing energy storage, smart grids, and that when combined with energy efficiency, and electric drives can lead to startling reductions our collective energy needs and reduced environmental impacts.

Our fossil fuel experts seem to suffer from a common malady of present day-ism. They see only what is, and are seemingly blind to what things can become. These so called experts would fit right in with the horse and buggy crowd circa 1890 scoffing at that newfangled invention the internal combustion car.

It looks like Tesla is well on its way to plausibly selling over 300,000 electric vehicles (mainly Model 3’s) in the coming year 2019. That would put them in second place right behind the Ford F-150 in the North American market. That I would posit is quite a feat for a “cult fraud automaker”. Automakers are scrambling to play catch up around the world.

Solar and wind power in the United States have overtaken coal power and are starting to challenge natural gas as an electric utility generating source. In the way of anecdotal evidence I was working on my driveway with my tractor when I heard a train heading north up the Rio Grande valley across the highway from our house. I looked up and say flat car after flat car loaded with wind turbine blades. I did not have my cell phone/camera with me unfortunately.

It is a common sight around here to see a semi-truck, two, or three hauling turbine blades but I cannot say I have ever seen a freight train hauling dozens and dozens of them at once. This was a very refreshing sight to a misguided Greenie like me.

Possibly the market place is trying to tell all these pundits who think fossil fuels now, fossil fuels tomorrow, and fossil fuels forever, something they are not quite ready to acknowledge yet. Perhaps they need to stick their heads up and look around a little bit.

On another note I was checking on my old friend Guy McPherson being interviewed as usual by some hack who ventures off half way through the interview on the fact that aliens are visiting us and the government is suppressing the information. At that juncture even though Guy tries his best to completely ignore them I hit the stop the button and move on.

Guy’s latest theses is a Blue Water Arctic Ocean Event coming next month or at the latest in September of 2019 will cause the Northern Hemisphere grain crops to fail collapsing our version of civilization. This will cause a shutdown of the amount of sulfates being emitted from our dirty power sources which will then precipitate out of the atmosphere inside of six weeks removing the global dimming service they provide us warming up the planet in short order one or more degree Celsius.

Guy cannot imagine humans surviving any of this and there you have it Very Near term Human Extinction (VNTHE) in three to fifteen months. Of course we have prospect A: has to happen followed by prospects, B, C, D, and so forth all perfectly aligned to lead Apocalypse Soon. Color me skeptical and Guy should be skeptical too if he values his main hobby as a retiree nowadays, that is predicting the end of the human civilization and human presence on this planet.

What to do, what to do, which leads us back to my title for this blog “The First Rule of Holes”. My answer is to “Stop digging so fast, on the way towards to stop digging” I realize we can’t magically replace all fossil fuels overnight, and in point of fact it may take decades, if ever. You just have to have a goal in life to achieve anything.

What do I think of The McPherson “Global Dimming paradox, well I think all bills come due regardless of what they are? To keep putting sulfates into the atmosphere along with their attendant Carbon load is kind of like saying you cannot stop hitting your foot with a hammer because it hurts too much to stop? We will just have to risk it.

Of course there is a lot more to the abrupt climate change crisis we find ourselves embroiled in. I would say this, no one knows how the future will play out precisely and anyone who says they do isn’t being strictly honest with you. I offer you no prescriptions here today other then we have to scale back our monumental assaults on the natural world and if we do not we are indeed doomed. It really is apocalypse tomorrow. So shovels up everyone, stop digging, and if you can’t, just stop digging so fast.

Addendum: Here is the link to my YOU Tube video on the same subject.

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