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Thinking Clearly About the Oceans

We have written about the oceans for years. They are the key to surviving climate change. If we let them die we are lost, if we don’t we still have a lot of problems, but we have a chance. The reason is that oceans will becom toxic and will produce toxic gases that will choke life on land, plants and animals. Only life adapted to swamps may survive.

Today a newsblip announced that by 2030 we will already see oxygen stress in ocean animals. Of course today already large parts of the oceans are anoxic. Today the warm temperatures are making growing seaweed in shallow waters more difficult. We see Kelp forrest suffering. That’s half of all the oxygen we breath that is under threat. Doing something about it requires a new mindset.

Today if people talk about saving the fish and oceans they think about sanctuaries. They think about conservation and indeed it helps to have fish nurseries and leave those animals alone. Greenpeace is removing Fish Aggregation Devices because they cause a lot of bycatch, but they do not see how these devices are the future. Because conservation is not going to be enough. This judgement is not made out of some kind of idle desire for more action, it is simply true : The oceans will die no matter how big you make your sanctuaries. Creating ocean sanctuaries is like stopping with beating the victim up. We have to do more to save it from dying from its wounds.

Oceans can be saved because they can bring wealth, because they can sustain people’s lives. If we try and let them. The current fossil energy system does not want to invest fossil energy in large scale attempts to reduce the damage, even if it wanted to the banking system will sit on the mechanism to channel it into the right direction, by controlling the money flows.

Shell, Exxon etc. could of course direct energy to owned factories that make devices like offshore fish farm cages or wave drivenocean nutrient pumps, they have enormous (and immoral) control over an important resource, but whatever is done, fossil fuels will be a limiting factor, not a force large enough to return our atmosphere to normal concentrations (even with CCS).

We thought about the challenge and think we should use ocean grown biomass (bamboo) and plastics floating around to build the infrastructure to protect our oceans. This includes fish farms, seaweed farms, pipes and mechanisms to increase oceanic oxygen, To sustain people that have an interest in expanding the size of the living ocean. Perhaps even technology that reflects sunlight of the oceans, to replace the ice.



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The Chile Challenge

SpaceX is preparing to send a rocket to Mars in 2018. They are increasingly succesful in landing and reusing their launch vehicles, so the cost of putting things in orbit is dropping for them, as Elon envisioned. As the goal of SpaceX is not just profit but also to create a viable alternative to Earth for humanity to survive catstrophies on, sending a rocket there asap is a logical step.

Honey, I’m home!

The process of habitating Mars won’t be too easy, landing there is difficult, once you land you have to breath and be safe from radiation, eat and have an environment that doesn’t depress the hell out of you, and getting this in place will take time. The good thing is : Mars is habitable, it has CO2, it seems to have water. It will work. Soon enough (also with the new EM drives for space ships) we will see trips from Earth to the Moon, Mars and beyond (still a 30 year trip to the nearest planet).

On Earth we have a different challenge, which is not to go extinct and see our oceans turned into lifeless toxic gas spewing acid pools. This sounds dramatic, but it isn’t. In the history of our planet it turned very hostile to life quite a few times. If you’re a sulfur breathing microbe, then you don’t need to worry. Otherwise do something.

This rover is pretending to be on Mars..

One country that knows all about harsh circumstances is Chile. Its Atacama desert actually quite closely models the circumstances on Mars. It is a very dry country, and we don’t mean they are humourless (although humour means liquid, so in a way…). Chile has a lot of sun (warning : long image).

Especially at the top the insolation is crazy, yet nothing grows because of the cold Humbold current from which little water evaporates. on the other side the mountains of the Andes keep all the moisture on the Argentinian/Bolivian side. It rains very little, so 0.2 inches per year, or sometimes, as a freak event 2 inches (2015). Even so, the country is drying up because of climate change.

Economically Chile is a mining country, it has copper mines, lithium, gold, tin ,diamonds, it is actually powering some of its mines with renewable energy .

You can see from the above image that there is plenty of room for more panels 😉 But really, there is plenty of room for everything. There is enormous room for life. We think Chile should start a challenge to green itself. Completely, using only renewable energy. This is the Chilean challenge, it will be terraforming on Earth, it will be cutting atmospheric CO2 and be a blessing to the country.

Chile has Lithium, so could build a mega battery factory and export.

There’s one technology we think should be used, and who wants to know what it is will have to be an investor paying some cash up front. The other ones are low pressure ionic desalination, drones, irrigation systems. Israel is an expert but it really isn’t that hard. What will be hard is to start this thing. Once it gets going it wil pay for itself, it will create jobs, provide food.

Economics is all about exploiting opportunities, we are nearing the end of the economic era and entering the Roboeconomic era, in which renewables and robotics change what counts as an opportunity. Basically if you have sunshine, water, minerals, you will be capable of generating circumstances welcome to life, trees, food, fish and thus people enjoying those resources. No longer is our planet divided into the invisible hinterland where industry wreaks havoc and a pretty cityscape where the wifi generation pretends to be relevant, we can live everywhere where the fundamental requirements are met, and we can use renewables to make that so if necessary.

How long before Chile turns from Mars into Earth? It’s up to us.

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Economics, Roboeconomics, Extraeconomics

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In Holland our attention is drawn to Paul Mason, a voice of a different kind of economics, different from the classics, different from Piketty (Mason wants young people to revolt). In another news item an economics lecturere mr. Paloni in Glasgow is removed from his job for teaching deviant economics, even  though the degree “successfully incorporate[s] pluralist approaches to teaching economics”. Something is going on. We too have rallied against 20th century capatalism and economics for a while, presenting our visions of Roboeconomics and Extraeconomics.

You can identify a classic economist in disguise by seeing if he/she suggest we fear automation. We need to do that only as long as it competes with us over the same resources

First off we think that any economics trying to redefine the economy by reorganizing people or redistributing money is missing the point entirely. It is not even a matter of ownership, although more individual ownership would bring about changes, just like collective ownership would (something immediatly associated with communism by well indoctrinated conservatives). The main problems are not solved by redistributing money or people or even ownership. They are Automation and resource depletion. Automation is a problem because of resource depletion.

Why is automation a problem because of resource depletion? Because one of the important resources is fossil fuels, and most automated production lines and chains run on fossil fuels. The problem is caused because fossil fuels are scarce. The economy is a system to distribute them to where they generate the most cash flow. A production line of running shoes generates more cashflow per joule of fossil fuels, or per dollar invested, than a jogging consumer. Therefore more money is channeled (by the financial system) to the shoe factory than to the consumer. If there was more energy to go around this difference would matter less (as we’ve seen in the 50s to 80s), but right now energy is tight, fossil energy may be cheap, but there is less every day.

Machines and humans compete over the same fossil fuels, and machines generate more cashflow

To those that want to maximize (not optimize) cashflow renewables are not welcome. They destroy cashflow. So a shoe factory that starts its own bioplastic farms and runs its machines on wind energy falls of the radar of 20th century economics. It doesn’t need to buy fossil fuels, it doesn’t even have to get the money to buy them when selling their product. It doesn’t compete with the consumer for the same energy resources. It would look to the economy like a loss if many companies and supply chains became energy self sufficient.

So automation is a problem as long as it uses scarce depletable resources like fossil fuels. As long as it does it has to compete with humans that also use those resouces, and economist, bankers, those living of the cashflows need automation to push people into poverty and get better from it.

There are number of movements for basic income, in Switzerland, Australia, Holland. They are presented as a fair solution when machines are making jobs obsolete. We agree, that automation makes jobs obsolete and we see that people must be given the means to buy stuff or the automatic production would grind to a halt. It is our old connundrum we coined a few years back :

If you have a machine that makes everything that everybody wants,  does this mean (option 1) that everybody is jobless and unable to buy what the machine makes so poor and destitute, or (option 2) is everything free and can everyone live in wealth?

The answer of our current fossil credit cashflow economics points to option 1. The renewable powered world obviously allows option 2. We are transitioning and economics is simply not build to deal with option 2. Still even in a fossil fuel dependent economy basic income could exist, but it would be constested continuously because of competition between humans and machines. For now their main function would be to quiet down the demands for a sustainable society. Comfort is the great passifier..

Enter Roboeconomics.

Roboeconomics is the economics that understands that automation can lead to joblessness, but doesn’t worry because it strives to solve the resource competition between humans and machines. Roboeconomics strives to replace all energy sources with renewable ones. As it does the cost of production of products and services will drop, and credit to buy goods and services can be created and given out as basic income. The main function of this basic income is to allow consumers to make choices for one product over another. Other than that necessary jobs are a bonus to whoever does them, but they should never be a burden or cause of suffering. Because there is no predatory capital market and credit scarcity there is no need for companies to hoard their inventions or even compete very hard in the market. The dynamics completely change to a more benign, less wastefull, more culture driven (but less marketing dominated) system.

Besides the elimination of energy resource dependency Roboeconomics als strives to replenish and generate resources. This can be done using automated systems, also running on renewables. We see remote tree plantations run by drones that care for many acres of forrest, plant it, water it, prune it. We see oceans with floating islands of fish and seaweed farms, even dry sweet water agriculture, securing life in our oceans. These operations can involve people, but they dont service a market. They are ‘Extraeconomical’. We have written about this type of enclave or operation before.

If there is a purpose there does not need to be an ideology, it’s possible, but not essential

Extraeconomic enclaves don’t need to be in a desert somewhere (although this is where investors and economist like it to happen, as a kind of wierd ‘out there’ example). It can be right in every community, and in a way already is, so local farms supplying local communities. The point is that the enclave sustains itself, does not allow investors in, does not participate in the market. What doesn’t happen yet, but what should happen in extraeconomic enclaves, is that more resources are created than are consumed. It is obvious how this differes from current economic thinking, which tries to bring everything to the market. For this Extraeconmic enclaves will need their own currency, or none, simply a ledger so tasks are divided equally between the people involved.

Extraeconomics results in self sustaining enclaves, which can form a patchwork and are resource abundant, potentially everywhere

We are already moving to a Roboeconomy, but 20th century economist can’t deal with it, won’t deal with it because of the consequences for financial sector/banking jobs and the domination of the fossil industry. We know the media is fossil industry dominated and it will not openly think what is presented above. No Fox News will announce that to get out of this increasingly plutocratic trap we need to start replacing fossil fuels with renewables, and pay a basic income to whoever is not working to give access to sustainable production. This would require farms to go organic on a massive scale (which they will anyway) for instance.

Of course we suffer from a vanity induced eugenic reflex as well. Some conservatives like the existential squeeze humanity is facing. Today 330 million indian are suffering in 119 farenheid/45 Celsius with little water. A few months back Delhi was in panic because rebels obstructed a water supply channel. Many are going to suffer before we can move to Roboeconomics, so the sooner the better.

Scaring and depressing people without a solution in mind only damages them, asking young people to rebel without a way out is simply an overture to turmoil and war. The solution is simple and it is within reach.

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The CarbonCredit System

More detailed “Banks and Carbon Divestment”

We live in a world still largely powered by fossil fuels. We also live in a world dominated by the financial sector. Both things are related. There is a deep dependency of the financial and banking system on fossil fuels.

The reason the banks depend on the fossil sector is because they create credit, which is simple numbers in an account, or paper money when it is drawn from the ATM. Those Dollars, Euro’s and Yen would not be attractive to anyone if you could not buy fossil fuels with them.

Imagine what would happen if you had money that did not buy fossil fuels? You would go to the gas station and not be able to fill up your tank. You would go to the airport but the airline would say “Sorry, but your money does not allow us to buy our fuel, we can’t accept it”. You would go to the clothing store and the person would say “With your money we can’t run our store, we can’t transport our cloths, we can’t pay our workers in asia who want to drive mopets..”. So this function of money is fundamental.

Economists won’t agree because it is their job to make you believe fossil fuels are just another commodity, that money buys everything, always has and always will. It doesn’t unless you make sure it does. The wars over oil and gas are over our carbon-credit system. The system run by cooperation between the fossil industry and the banks.

Why is this important? Because we have to get rid of fossil fuels from our society. How can we get rid of the thing banks see as essential to their business model? A few percent renewables is ok, but a society with only renewables will not be possible in the current model. Therefore the growth of renewable energy is obstructed by the current fossil/financial system.

What happens if you make a solar panel? You need fossil fuels to do it (still). That means the price of the panel reflects the price of the fossil fuels. You have to compare the price of burning fossil fuels directly with that of burning it in the process of making a solar panel. The latter thing is smarter, because one solar panel can avoid the need to buy about ten times the energy you invest in making it. For that reason there should be no debate or competition. One should make as much solar panels as possible because it would multiply wealth!

Because banks depend on the fossil fuel cashflow however solar and direct buring of gas in power plants still have to compete. And they can lobby for levies on panels so the price rises, and they can make the installation system more complex so the cost rises. The banks want fossil cashflow and they can generate it by making things as expensive as we can afford. A nice side effect of this is that if you make things expensive, people need money, and come back to the banks.

The world needs to see this carboncredit system, understand it. Money is still expected to buy oil and gas, gas based electricity or it is worthless. We need to make this relationship explicit, quantify it so that we can capture the productive power of fossil fuels before it reaches the market, and direct it at no cost to the manufacturing of energy multiplying technology like wind and solar. We can then sell the output of those wind and solar panels by loaning out wind and solar electricity credit, and do so much longer than the bank could loan out its carbon credit.

Banks like we know today and the financial system as we know it today will not exist in a fully renewable powered world, because they are a product and part of the carboncredit system. We need to take this system and direct it because on its own accord it will never move away from fossil fuels, and it will keep pricing renewables comparatively to fossil fuels.


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Banks and Carbon Divestment

Banks are not well understood. To many they appear to be some neutral factor that ‘only’ provides an essential service to the ‘economy’, that of credit creation. The banks themselves like to restrict your thinking to how much money who has, and what you could spend it on. Ideally you should believe that as long as you have money, you can get anything you want.

All money is credit that was once created by a bank

Why is this ideal? Because it means you bought their business model with hook, line and sinker. Because they create the money, you say you want it. You will do whatever they want. Also, and this is important, you have restricted the view of your world to whatever is for sale. That excludes whatever is no longer for sale, so any time stuff runs out, you won’t be interested. Cocolate will get more expensive because climate change is making it harder to grow, and you will think “i will buy that other stuff, that fake chocolate” its cheaper.

Money is a product that has value to banks as long as we believe in its purchasing power

We are so familiar with this way of thinking inside the constraints of money and the ‘economy’ that we forget it is a creation of bankers. It is usually the most attractive of such creations, because bankers don’t want us to try to escape it, but it is artificial, a system we are asked to accept. Only the people that do not know how to represent themselves (or that are on purpose misrepresented) will suffer more than the average inhabitant. The old and the poor. Society is a carefull matrix of people all depending on banks, and banks primary purpose is to keep it that way.

There will always be to little money for most people, because otherwise there would be no need for new credit. That will always be the case because money is sucked out of the ‘economy’ by the purchasing of fossil fuels.

But what is ‘credit creation’ exactly. It is the allocation of resources. Resources are the things you buy with money. Money itself is never of real value to you, you can’t eat it, you can’t drink it, it doesn’t grow. So if a central bank issues more credit at a lower rate (and the banks actually create loans) this means resources, all kinds, will be accessible to the owners of the money. They can grab them from the market. Just think how wierd this is : Just because some banker said so and created a number in your account, you are now allowed to take stuff from someone. The deal the bank makes with you is that you return money to them, but that never brings back the resources. You ate the apples, you burned the oil, you put the wood into your house, worn out the shoes.

Credit gives us access to all things traded, primarliy because it gives us acces to one specific thing traded : Fossil fuels. That is not a coincidence

You can’t unspend money you use to buy gasoline, because you can not make gasoline and return it to the pump owner. This is the most profound mystery of credit, and people seldomly notice it. It is mysterious because almost any manufacturing process uses fossil fuels, and always the fuels are destroyed. So what does it mean for a producer of say running shoes to pay back the credit they used to make shoes?  Selling the shoes extracts credit from the hands of the buyers, but giving this money back to the bank does not unconsume the fossil fuels used. Clearly the use of fossil fuels in the economy is at the same time a fundamental force, and one that is given to those that have credit, for free.

Banks give fossil fuels away, and thus give everything away, and the competition for the fossil fuels makes that this leads to the creation of wealth efficiently (in relative terms)

There is no contradiction in the last sentence because the credit mentioned was created freely. The fuels consumed to buy products you buy with your credit are never recreated, never payed back to anyone. They are a gif, and they are because they make this system work. Banks could not operate if they could not depend on fossil fuels being burned and never returned. That is why we call this the carboncredit system, also known as ‘the economy’.

If some resources are never expected to be returned or regenerated, then what is the purpose of the ‘economy’? It is to get the maximum wealth out of the available resources. This is why we compete in the market, why we try to make ‘cheaper’ shoes. It is the distribution and use of fossil fuels that the economy optimizes. Even if it also optimizes the income of said bankers and intermediaries. Economists will say “fossil fuels are a commodity just like any other”. Of course, they do not want to reveal the magic trick behind our ‘capitalist’ economy.

To answer those economist one can say “Ok, take fossil fuels out, see what happens”. You can remove all wheat from the market, all iron, all soy, all silver. Things will get bad, but not as bad as removing all oil, coal and gas. Not as fast. Fossil fuels are a condition to the functioning of our economy and banks regulate how much fossil fuel is being consumed by controlling credit.

Banks are throwing coal under the bus because there is a much more attractive alternative : Gas

Yesterday the head of the Dutch Central Bank said it would be wise to invest less in coal, fossil fuels in general. He can say that because coal is being replaced by renewables as a source of electricity, because phasing out coal buys time for other fossil fuels and because perhaps he wants to create visible improvement also to buy more time. The core of his motivation is however that banks need fossil fuel use to continue or they will seize to be relevant.

Banks can survive divestment from coal, but not from all fossil fuels. Money would lose its value 

Step for a moment into a world running on renewables. We have build wind turbines and solar panels and batteries and other storage systems to power the world, we find that we have much more power than we enjoy today. We find that we have lived on a ration with only negative consequences only to keep banks in existence. Why? Because renewables, storage of clean energy are not owned by one institution or group of institutions. Everyone can own a solar farm and run a factory off it. Everyone can own a biodigester and make plastic from the methane. Every owner of a renewable energy souce can actually create their own credit to trade away their energy. Every organic farmer can eat, doesn’t need a bank to get credit to buy fertilizer, pesticides, but can draw credit from the foodmarket.

A renewable energy economy has no such thing as unallocated credit (at least in the beginning). The economic principles simply dont work.

Imagine all renewable energy produces is consumed in one way or another to produce a society like we have today. If there are no fossil fuels, how would a bank be able to create credit of $1 million? It could. But what could it buy? Because all the local renewable energy sources and consumers would not be for sale. Also : Why would a solar farm owner in Greece hand over his solar electricity for dollars printed in the US? What could he buy in the US with those dollars if every solar farm and wind farm there had their own credits, which would already be in use locally? This is why banks and the financial system (no matter what they try) are going to be a thing of the past.

What banks try to stay relevant is  :

  1. Create an energy market, support the grid so renewable energy sources will be build in the wrong places (like in the ocean or desert far away from where they are needed).
  2. Keep in tight contact with the fossil energy sector. Banks and fossil energy producers are one operation, even if they consist of multiple companies. It is the #carboncredit system.
  3. Try to be involved in the building of renewable energy sources to ensure they have to tie into the market, and to sustain the lie that our economy can transition to renewables without disappearing.
  4. Keep the focus on money as a magic powder that will always create whatever you want, by causing outrage about bonusses, showing oppulence.
  5. Divide society into good consumers, the haves and a lot of have nots, it is important for the masses to believe they hold a lottery ticket if they try hard enough, even though only a fraction of the people actually wins it and all have to wrestle over a meager fossil energy budget.
  6. Hunt cash, hidden money, make sure all virtual currencies keep tying into the major currencies. All independent funds can do things the banks can’t control.
  7. Keep the world in economic distress, so people want loans, want credit, and can’t do what is best for them on the scale it would have to be done.

The long and short of all the above is that if we allow banks to operate our ‘economy’ we will not transition to renewables fast enough. Fast enough can mean ‘while maintaining order’. Instead we will see a stratification between rich and poor, we will see replacement of coal by oil and oil by gas, We will see rampant fracking and other destructive types of fossil exploration. We will see resource depletion as the ‘economy’ doesn’t see anything that is not on the market nor ensures it will be available in the future.

In Holland Shell, when told it had to cut back on gas production, responded that it would then also not pay into the insurance fund for earthquakes. That seems bold and odd, but it makes perfect (carboncredit) sense : If the energy is not made available in Holland, then how can you power the activities involved in reconstruction, so why would you make credit available. This is what politicians need to learn : Fossil is money unless you grab both fossil and money creation and force it to create renewable sources of credit. (one dutch politician was not amused)

The action to take is simple, but not so politically. We need to bring both banks and fossil fuel companies under one rule, blocking out any legal interference. You see banks work this way themselves all the time : block out legal noise, also in the TTIP agreement big companies try to neutralize legal challenges by arbitration in their own supranational courts. This is because banks know they are powerfull because the people working for them are all conditioned to want money. It is a horse with a carrot on a stick tied to its back, grazing our planet until it is burned and bare.

The essence of what we need to do is to grab both banks and fossil reserves at the same time and write new rules for them.

So what to do? Create a global authority. Bring all fossil resources under one controlling body, it will regulate the sale and use of fossil fuels.

  1. Make global rules on investment so that fossil fuel goes into renewables are the maximum rate. More factories. Simply build them for solar panels, wind turbines, batteries.
  2. Make money heavy, meaning make it so that it is taxed more the farther it tries to move. This is to make money more like renewable energy credit.
  3. Make all financial transactions transparent, apply Hypertransparency.
  4. Depower the financial system by normalizing land cost, rebasing them in terms of their organic farming yield, not their real estate potential.
  5. Create credit based on renewable sources, take a part of the credit as tax, hand the rest to the owner of the energy source.

It is not possible to trow everyone a bone in the creation of this kind of system, which would exist for a while until all energy would be renewable and our potential to generate wealth would have increased about 100 times (where it could increase to about 2500 times!).

If you are not a carbon credit ‘capitalist’, you are never a communist. Communism is DEAD

Because every economist will pull out the big smear gun the moment you suggest doing anything else than following their lead, namely their accusation of plying communism, here a rebuttal : It would not be communism because it would have nothing to do with the teachings of Lenin. It would increase capitalim because credit would more match the realy productive resources the longer the policies would be in place (while today ‘capital’ means fossil fuel credit, which is decidedly NOT capital).

Perhaps a new global government should be formed by the people of all countries, with the sole purpose of organizing the movement to defeat the carboncredit self determination. We need to take the helm of spaceship Earth.

How to do this? It could be realized by a global, publicly funded (funded by the crowd) lobby campaign. Your political flavour can only be two things : protecting the fossil fuel credit economy or trying to move away from it. The latter option will bring more health, wealth and prosperity to more people. It would create more local autonomy, so that unnecessary fossil fuel intensive logistics and trade would not happen. It would remove much incentives for wars, it would remove a reason for countries to threaten each other over resources, because resource consumption would be more often matched by resource replenishment (as the use of fossil fuel in any activity would not be the aim, enabling renewabe powered resource creation). Etc. Etc.



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Ionic Desalination.

There are many ways to desalinate sea or brackish water. The aim is to separate the salts from the water in any way possible. One example is that one can evaporate the water, like the sun does with our ocean water, to then condense it (like rain). Even this process can be done by both heating and decompression, so two ways. There are many others.

principle of charge based water purification

The most popular we see in use at the moment however seems to be selected for its economic value, meaing it uses a lot of energy. It is called Reverse Osmosis. What it boils down to (no pun sorry) is that water is pressed through a membrane with holes to sall for Sodium or Cloride (The two constituents of common seasalt), probably a lot of other molecules and atoms are to big for the filter. This is against the pressure of osmosis, which dictates that water tries to dilude a salty solution, so will by itself move from the fresh to the salty side.

Winds increasing capacity makes it a better fit for desalination (source).

Reverse Osmosis is chosen for a number of reasons, mainly (we think) because it is difficult and requires constant care and spare parts etc. Not that a RO filter cant function without hitch over longer periods, but one needs the specialize filters, while with freeze desalination or flash evaporation there are no unique parts.

A small-scale (mechanical) wind-powered RO system was constructed and tested by Robinson et al. (1992). Freshwater production by their system was only 0.5 to 1.0 cubic meters per day, which is the estimated volume needed by a typical remote community in Australia. (source)

We can’t keep playing this economic game of owning some special patent of technique or product and then selling it around the world. Even if the price is low, it is not secure to have such dependencies. Also, the energy requirements of RO desalination which in the past made people happy (as a coal or nuclear plant had to be build next to the desalination plant) are just to big. Solar RO with solar panels, Wind RO with wind hydraulic pressure or gravity (pulling water from a great hight) are still stupid ideas.

The system presented here comprises a 2.2 kW wind turbine generator powering a variable-flow Reverse osmosis (RO) desalination unit. (source)

We need so much fresh water, either from seawater, polluted ground water or brackish water soon, that RO around the world would only increase the problems. We need to use alternatives, but for these alternatives there is one problem : They are cheap.

5 wind turbines of type Bonus 2 MW. It was found that wind energy can successfully power a SWRO desalination plant in the case study region. (source)

The domination of RO is about to be smashed however. The new technology, called ionic desalination is not really new. We wrote about it years ago, and it has been in use for much longer. It uses the electric proterties of ions to separate them from water.

Energy for desalination :

  • RO 5 Wh/L
  • Electro dialysis 20 Wh/l
  • Micro/Nanofluidic Desalination Method 3.5 Wh/L (source)

Salt, NaCl dissolves in water into Na+ and CL- ions. These will follow an electric gradient if it is applied. One way to separate them from water is to apply a current to the water, and the Na- will move to the negative pole, the Cl- to the positive (to form Na?  and Cl2). This happens in primitve water splitters, and as Cl2 is toxic, they can be unhealthy.

One way to use this is to draw the Na and Cl through a membrane to another space they can not escape from. This is what was done in the Salttech concept, which was interesting because it created the potential to draw the ions out by using the same ions in an osmotic battery (Where Na+ and Cl-) create a potential by leaving a solution to two separate other solutions due to osmotic pressure (its complicated). This works, but one can do better.

“we report a process for converting sea water (salinity ~500 mM or ~30,000 mg l−1) to fresh water (salinity <10 mM or <600 mg l−1) in which a continuous stream of sea water is divided into desalted and concentrated streams by ion concentration polarization, a phenomenon that occurs when an ion current is passed through ion-selective membranes. ” (source)

Just like ultracapacitors are batteries that never really charge, but only draw ions to their electrodes, so the new type of ionic desalination doesn’t try to remove ions from the water, only to bind them, to wash them into brine later.  This type of membrane is actually easy to make, low cost, low pressure. The basic materials can be carbon (activated) and Titanium Oxide (if you want to use sunlight to photo activate the carbon) or graphene (single atom thickness carbon sheets usually made from graphite).

The material to remove ions can be as simple as activated carbon (source)

New graphene based filters are even better, they can be turned into a charged filter that keeps 100% the salts out while not requiring large pressure for water to get through. The charge is also not consumed, in the sense that the charge itself does not move or flow, it only repels ions which takes energy from the ions, not electricity.

“The energy that’s required and the pressure that’s required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less” (source)

By intercalating monolayer titania (TO) nanosheets into graphene oxide (GO) laminates with mild ultraviolet (UV) reduction, the as-prepared RGO/TO hybrid membranes exhibit excellent water desalination performance (source)

Carbon Tio for removal of pharmaceuticals 

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Carbon Havens

The Panama papers have shown us that what we knew for decades is actually true. There are places on earth where the laws are such that you can declare your revenues and other types of income there, and not get them taxed. It’s a game every country plays to a certain extend, Holland made tax deals with companies like Starbucks, the US banks had offices in carribean tax havens. Now, with a desire to reign in the power of big money, and also because it is important to know where that money is, these countries are being forced (or hacked), to open their books.

It is part of the ever stricter rules and supervision of people in the developed world. All our online lives are monitored and known. You can end up in court for some minor offence and some cop can build a story around your google searches four years ago. Banks expecially don’t like individuals with independent funds, because that means independent power. It basically disturbes their control of activities. Imagine if a multi billionair lands in Greece and starts handing out free solar panels. This will free greece from some of its debt permanently, and this has to be prevented by applying ruls of economics on known cash reserves. Hidden cash and real cash are both too free for the taste of the banks.

But as these tax havens are being rolled up we see a new kind of haven emerge : The Carbon Haven. Countries that play along with the climate agreements are bound by honour (not by any law) to reduce emissions. That means assets they don’t want to use, such as coal fired powerplants and coal reserves have to be sold off. A good example is Vattenfall who is selling of its lignite coal operations.  To Czech firm EPH.

Vattenfall, which is selling the assets as part of a strategy to reduce its carbon exposure, will see its carbon emissions fall by two-thirds to around 24 million tonnes per year after the sale, making it a utility with one of the smallest carbon footprints in Europe.

So what will happen to the coal? It will get burned. But in the Czech Republic, which is poor, meaning it does not control a lot of fossil resources. This a bit like third world assistance. And of course countries like the Ukrain and the Czech republc pollute the air we breath, because the winds can blow it right back to Germany.


It is clear that carbon will be seeking loopholes and places to go, just like highly taxed money has.  It does not matter if the Czech republic pays zero or a reasonable amount for the coal, the point is that it should not be burned at all, nowhere. Just like for the tax havens there is a need for global suppression of carbon use, beyond the economic system, because the economic system will aways promote its use. Coal should be on the list with ivory and cocaine, something you can’t trade anywhere.

It is a wrong idea to claim that coal can be a transition fuel for the Czech republic. This country has struggled for decades, it is much better off being freed out of the carbon economy, and pushed into using only renewables, because then the wealth would be debtless, and much more bountyfull. Coal plants aren’t even that productive, compared to solar farms on the same footprint.

We can not trust ‘conservatives’, bankers or economists to close climate loopholes, they hate them with every fiber of their irresponsible sad bodies. It is the left in the developed countries that will have to point out it will create jobs and much improvement to shut all coal plants down, everywhere, replacing them with solar or wind farms.  The matter is not only urgent because of the climate damage, but also because the fossil economy forces us to work within the limits of fossil feuls, as we suffer the damage of it’s production and use. It is the definition of insanity to tolerate that in the age of wind and solar.

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Battling the Parrot Machine

The world is divided. On the one side we have people that believe things based on their experiences, their understanding. These are on the left side of the spectrum. To these people what they think needs to make sense, there needs to be logic. They approach the world through the constraints of their beliefs, so they are usually carefull, respect a lot things outside themselves, not only people, but also other things.

Then there are people that don’t think. They know. What they know they learn from others, primarily parents. This knowlegde can cause them to distort what they experience so that their view of the world becomes completely useless in any real sense, but they retain their connection with the hierarchical power structure, peers, parents, other leadership figures. These people need that because they will say whatever it takes to stay where they are. They have to learn what to think, what to do and what to say from others. Logic is not relevant to these people.

It is very hard for the people on the left to imagine the minds of the people on the right. How can you exist with incoherent ideas, without some logic to what you say. Because it is so hard, and because the people on the right can at times pretend to be thinking very convincingly, the left always falls in the same trap : They argue with the people on the right. Just like arguing with economist, arguing with people on the right only teaches them what to say to you so you shut up. This is because on the right we are dealing with only one mind. The conservative mind.

It can be easily demonstrated the right, economic thinking minds are one, not in a physical sense, but in the sense that there is no originality of thought. The thoughts on the right are more like a mantle one puts on, to protect oneself against real considerations, against imagining things that have nothing to do with the life of the person involved. You discover it when you start to argue with one of the non thinking people. If you argue for renewables on the basis of thier ability to bring wealth to more people, as soon as you talk about ‘everyone’ you will trigger the “so you’re a communist” response. If you paint a vision of a future without fossil fuels you are an “idealist”, “dreamer”.

We are dealing with a monlith of minds that are all supported by fossil fuel, even the banks, because banks would not be able to function in their present form without fossil fuel reserves. These reserves allow them to create credit, which will be used to buy fuels and make goods and services. If the fossil fuel reserves did not exist, how could a bank make anything happen by just increasing a number in an account?

We need to view the pro fossil side as a ‘well oiled machine’ because all its members will be rewarded by saying the same things over and over again, by casting doubt over and over again, by protecting and helping fossil fuel to exist, move it forward. Because the producers of the fuels, and the banks that arrange its distribution, can give endless amounts away, they produce it, they valuate it, they can give all of it away if needs be, to protect thier lifes as they are. This is what keeps us from shutting it down.

The left argues, it likes to argue because usually people on the left have a set of beliefs they like to see reflected in others. The people on the right that do think a bit quickly recognize it is a good thing for them to keep the left bickering. Divide and conquer. So they infiltrate and throw wrenches in the cooperation, they make people to stupid things as this thinking left wing mindset is very carefull about cooperation, so when they do they are a bit overzealous doing it. Said bluntly people on the left can be nerds. But they are right.

How does the left win this game? By dumbing down. By being very clear about the objectives, one of it being demanding 100% renewables at the soonest possible date. Another being that banks are forced to invest as much as they can in viable renewable energy. Another being that burning anything is a bad idea, so biomass burning , CCS or a gas transition are bad ideas.

One of the most important things the left has to recognize is that economics can not be used in this transition period. Economic growth is exactly what we don’t want, because economic growth is the expansion of fossil fuel use. The left has to think more clearly about economics and recognize that the key indicators all go up if fossil fuel use go up, so they need to go down. Dropping cashflow does not mean wealth is lost if it is replaced by local renewable sources. There is a difference between the economy and society, and it only becomes visible if the left starts to use different numbers, not the economic numbers.

The monolithic fossil fuel driven right wing parrot system will say “its to expensive” “it is too late” “we don’t like the noise” “how do you know it wont make things worse” etc. etc. All things one can simply repeat from one person to another, never thinking about anything, never using any logic. This is also the strength of the right (apart from the endless bribing and rewarding (and punishment) potential of the oil/banking system). The right is a team, its a machine. The left needs to be the same.

Last week people in Holland voted for or against a treaty between the EU and Ukraine. One dutch party was against it because the treaty would allow dutch banks to invest in intensive chicken farms banned in the EU, exporting these eggs througout Europe. Fossil/banks want this because it saves fossil fuels and concentrates cashflows in their hands, making it easy for them to lobby for expansion as EU ckicken farmers start to feel the competition. One party was clear on this.

Another party, left wing, went for the economics and was for the treaty. The Green left party they where called. Another party, also always pretending to be left of the right, was for D66, a bunch of people with right wing roots working to understand what left wing people say to draw more left wing people to the right. Dutch politics shown to be a total sell out party.

The true left does not have to care about the economy, it just has to design/envision a society where problems are solved on the basis of renewablwes, which is increasingly easy. They have to think in a way that asks “What if we completely eliminated fossil fuels from this service or part of our society, how could we make it work, and maintain its function” and always base policy on that basis. Soon it would find it had more wealth to distribute than it would bite of the limited fossil fuel ration industry primarily lays claim to.

Just like 300.000 ordered Model 3 Tesla cars will mean significant drops in sales of the competition, this approach would hurt the right wing parrot machine, throw it into conflict as it tries to find the new lies and slogans that could divide the left. The left however can be clear : We want max renewables asap, max preservation of life, zero fossil dependence asap, and an economy counted in output, people taken care of instead of debtload per asset class and fossil fuel cashflow.


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Groningen Invents A Deep Ocean Nutrient Fertilization Device

We have written about the oceans many times on this blog, about the fact that they are dying from rising temperatures and CO2 in the atmosphere. Dead oceans are the big threat of climate change. Although life on land will suck with higher temperatures, there is no equal to the deadly force of dead oceans : They start to emit toxic gasses due to anaerobic bacteria taking over. Clouds of H2S will waft onto land and H2S is deadly to both plants and animals.

To prevent this from happening we need to revive the oceans. We can do that until it gets to acidic for any life, so we have a window of about 30 years. The main problem is not that life is impossible in the ocean, but that life can not reach the food it needs. Food for ocean life consists of minerals (amongst other things) and those are heavy and sink down out of the  region where the sun penetrates the water. Only where nutrients and sunlight mix can the most important form of life, that of algae and plankton exist.

One of the impractical approaches, which is called ‘rogue’ but worked

Researchers have thought about this and developed plans to pump water out of the deep ocean. One example is the bubble curtain, a curtain of air bubbles that drives deep ocean nutrients to the surface. The importance is described as follows:

Nearly all natural upwelling areas are significant fishing grounds. This is because of the nutritious deep seawater rich in inorganic nutrient salts, such as nitrate, phosphate and silicate [1,2]. These nutrient salts are essential for the growth of plants. Upwelled water from depths below 300 m is cold, clean and rich in nutrients. While upwelling regions account for only 0.1% of the ocean surface, they yield over 40% of the world’s fish catch

Other methods use plastic or steel pipes. Now there is a dutch company that is developing a device masking as a wave energy device, but really it is one big nutrient upwelling station.

The so called ‘oceaan grazer’ or ocean grazer, uses very long pistons to pump water from the deep, and as it does it generates energy for about 80.000 homes.  The tubes go down 200 meters, which is not the ideal depth but still great for recovering sunken nutrients.


It will be quite long before this device sees production, and it is quite complicated and perhaps not the best device to harvest wave energy. We don’t like to say things are promising, because that implies we can take our time. We can’t. This device needs to be build, and if not some other, like the one shown below.

“They turn to the ocean for solutions. Their proposed scheme involves placing vertical pipes some 200 meters long in the sea to pump nutrient-rich water from depth to the surface, thus enhancing the growth of algae in the upper ocean. The algae, which are key in transporting carbon dioxide to the deep sea and producing dimethyl sulphide involved in the formation of sunlight-reflecting clouds, should help to prevent further warming.” (ref)

Microsoft also patented a device that does massive pumping  up of deep ocean water. It uses a power source though, but that could be a wind turbine. It was meant to cool the top of the oceans and thus reduce the power of hurricanes hitting the US.

There is a clear filter of knowledge in our media, and if there are really cool ‘geoengineering’ level solutions we are usually scared away from them or told they are insane (like iron sulfate fertilization, another kind, that clearly works ref). Maybe this is because a global effort to put in place geoengineering devices (other than coal/gas/nuclear power plants) sends a clear signal we have to change our focus to survival instead of increasing fossil consumption (growing the economy).

Floating ocean devices that feed the local waters are also great launching pads for other ocean revitalization efforts (extraeconomically)

You have to watch for companies that pretend to do what they do, but in fact are there to absorb interest and take the wind out of real efforts. The fossil fuel industry and wider market players use every trick in the book, compare it to $115 million fossil lobby to continue to make hundreds of billions annually.

As can be seen from Nature, in 2007 it was also proposed to pump water from 100-200 meters depth, and this is exactly what the people in Groningen will do. Experiments have been done but it proved hard to fund and in some cases the structures involved seemed to have been sabotaged.

We can choose to act and buy ourselves time and a living ocean, or be unrealistic and think that  we will find another way in time. The latter is clearly more reckless.

We wrote about how it was calculated that this type of system could significantly reduce CO2 abd much more importantly : preserve ocean life. In germany this approach has been dismissed on the grounds that once you start you can’t stop. The pumping up of cool deep ocean water cools the atmosphere, which turns out to be beneficial to all life, because it cools the atmosphere. But it warms the water and this means that you need to continue to have these devices or end up in a warmer world. The weakness in this objection is that 1. Why would we stop? and 2. We will end up in a warmer world anyway, so better with an ocean that’s alive and a chance to lose heat over time, than with a dead ocean and no chance.

We would argue that the technology has already been proven. We need to start using it as soon as possible. We also know a way to bring more oxygen into the ocean, and although it is a huge expanse, we need not worry about this, only about reducing CO2. At any rate, this method is no extra burden and pretty automatic.

Open ocean fish farming can clearly benefit form free deep water nutrients..

iron fertilziation company

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Hoe Shell Kan Scoren

Shell shareholders initiative

Shell “Wind op zee straks even belangrijk als aardgas”

Groningers ook gezondheids schade door gaswinning

Shell developed a pathetic fuel efficient car  They could simply start building this one :

Shell verkent de duurzame arena. Na decennia inspanning om deze markt te ondermijnen zegt de CEO nu :

“Moving away from fossil fuels presents great opportunities for oil companies”

Dat lijkt veel belovend, maar vertrouw Shell niet te snel. Ook al zien ze af van het boren op de Noordpool, dit betekent nog niet dat het enig belang heeft bij een overstap naar duurzame energie bronnen. Er is nog geen rationeel denkproces waargenomen behalve een die de toekomst van Shell zeker stelt, en dat betekent meer olie, meer schaliegas, en all andere fossiele bronnen waar ze nu hun salarissen van betalen.

Hot air? That’s what it has been for a century, literally

De naieve houding van het publiek dat een sociale houding van bedrijven verwacht wordt keer op keer gelogenstraft. Shell is net als Exxon hard bezig geweest de fossiele consumptie veilig te stellen in een tijdperk waarin al lang duidelijk was dat koolstof houdende brandstoffen een bedreiging waren voor onze biosfeer. Het heeft alleen een tijd geduurd voor de CEOs niet meer netjes konden doen zonder dit toe te geven. Nu geeft Shell het toe, wil het verduurzamen, dat kan het netjes zeggen, en vervolgens verwachten wij iig business as usual. Weltersten publiek, u heeft gehoord wat u wilde horen.

Shell hoeft geen ‘babysteps’ te zetten

Shell moet als het serieus meent wat het zegt ons niet in de maling nemen en doen alsof het ‘risicovol’, ‘een verkenning’, ‘een stap in het duister’ etc. is om met klimaat neutrale of klimaat positieve technologie aan de slag te gaan. Het is een professioneel bedrijf met duizenden slimme experts aan boord. Het trekt deze mensen uit de hele wereld aan en iedereen doet super zijn best. Wat je mag verwachten van Shell, die net als China zeer lange termijn plant, is dat ze net zo gewiekst met verduudzaming omgaan als ze met de onderdrukking van verduuzaam zijn omgegaan.

Shell kocht alle pantenten voor solar grade silicon, kocht alle solar grade silicon en alle fabrieken die het spul produceerden, en zo vertraagde Shell de introductie van goedkope zonnepanelen wie weet hoe veel jaren. Allemaal hele dure jaren. Dit was omdat Shell van de slimste koppen gebruik maakte om zichzelf in leven te houden. Laat ze dat nu ook doen om de stap naar de verduuzaming te maken. Alsjeblieft geen laf geklungel.

Om geld gaat het niet. Shell maakt geld (zie onze posts over #carboncredit). Het kan de eigen olie en gas zo ruilen voor alles wat het nodig heeft. Dit is ideaal. Het kan de eigen toekomst als eigenaar van bronnen (ook al zijn we daar niet enthousiast over) zeker stellen als het slaagt om met 1 unit fossiele  energie 4 units hernieuwbare energie te genereren. Die multiplicatie factor bestaat al bij zonnepanelen, die (afhankelijk van de gebruikte sealants) 30 tot 60 jaar mee kunnen.

Shell mag kokketeren met hernieuwbare energie, maar dit is slechts schijn tot het komt met een paar serieuze projecten. Met name :

  1. Een groep batterijen fabrieken rond de wereld, naar model van Tesla.
  2. Offshore windfarms voor scheeps (NH3 ammoniak) diesel
  3. Assistentie Tesla bij productie van zware electrische vrachtwagens (bouw fabriek)
  4. Een groep zonnepaneel fabrieken in Zuid Europa, Australie, naar model van China
  5. Een groep wind turbine fabrieken naar model van China
  6. Grootschalige bosbouw projecten in droge gebieden, inclusief irrigatie

De projecten moeten breinverzengend groot van aanpak zijn. Dat kan Shell namelijk makkelijk. Dit is geen gezeur van ‘svp Shell doe toch iets’, maar een challenge: Is Shell serieus, dan moeten we geschokt worden door de schaal waarop het dingen aanpakt. Er is 2500 keer zoveel solar energie op jaarbasis te winnen als alle fossiele brandstoffen die in dezelfde periode (nu nog) uit de grond worden gehaald. We leven ivg op een ”armoedig” fossiel ransoen.

Shell moet hiervoor misschien minder van de eigen olie verkopen voor zinloze verbranding in bv. autos en vliegtuigen. Dat kan het motiveren met de noodzaak van deze transitie. Het kan een deel van de reserves explicite onder VN mandaat of een andere militaire autoriteit sanctioneren voor de productie van hernieuwbare energie bronnen. Dan weet je dat ze het menen. Anders is het gewoon een nieuwe iteratie van het gladde (en mensheid bedreigende) gelul van afgelopen eeuw.