Monthly Archives: December 2019



 

Covered Streets and Farms

We will need to deal with the heat of summer, we will need to find more room to generate solar energy. The solution is not complicated : We need to cover our streets. Dense cities are excelllent places where we can create close to domed environments. We van eventually, when we are only using EVs or banned internal combustion cars (including hydrogen) from our cities, even condition our ‘outside’ air. The ease to do this will become an attaction of cities.

More domed cities as envisioned by Enik Bilal

We are facing a prospect of rising CO2, loss of O2 and increase of gasses like methane and H2S in our atmosphere. The loss of O2 will be caused by the death of our oceans due to acidification and rising temperatures, as well as the forest and brush fires we are now witnessing. We need climate resilient technology to capture back the CO2, but the changes will take place so fast we will also need to build places where we can live in a stabile and safe manner.

More examples here https://nl.pinterest.com/pin/170433167131748874/?lp=true

To keep it real, if you live in a street with a span of about 30 to 50 meters, you could cover it with metal or other beams and put solar panels (and solar thermal panels) on top of them. Still leaving in enough sunlight (using a dynamic system) you could create a light pleasant environment on the ground, conducive to plants living and animals thriving. At the same time solar light could be reflected back into space, the best thing to do. The solar energy captured at height could be used to cool the air (solar airconditioning) and charge EVs and homa batteries. Maybe even reduce CO2, as our brains are not really adapted for this level of CO2 in our air.

This can be seen in Bastogne, Belgium

In cities in southern Europe, more and more cities are covering streets to reduce the sun beating down on pedestrians. The big advantages of them is that the heat stays close to the shades, and the cooler air can stay near the ground. This means that in narrow streets airconditioning can actually work.

Barcelona?

We did some experiments this summer because of the concept of “radiative cooling” this is an ancient way of cooling against space. The idea is simple : Without our atmosphere and the Sun our planet would be a frozen ice ball. This is because space is very cold, and heat radiates from hot bodies (as you can see in infrared images). Our planet witout atmosphere or sunlight would very rapidly radiate away all its heat cooling down. In day to day life that means that if you are in a shaded place and you can see a blue sky, your heat has the chance to radiate into space, and because you are in the shade no heat from the sun is added. You will be cooling down.

Using special materials the radiative cooling effect can be maximized

As you see above scientists have looked into this mechanism. You can experience it yourself if you feel the roof of your car as it was parked in the shade on a really warm sunny day. The roof will feel colder than the air.

The nice advantage is that the type of radiation a hot object generates passes more easy through our atmosphere than the heat of the Sun. Real cooling effects can be achieved, so much that one could in create ice in the desert. Of couse as our atmsphere is getting more humid the clear sky deserts cool less.

Iranian ice pools and ice house where ice,made during the night, was stored (more here https://hookedontech.com/sky-cooling-will-allow-air-conditioners-to-operate-using-the-cold-of-outer-space/ )

What the above makes clear is that we can have double advantage of covered streets if we can uncover them at night. We can also cool without cost if we create more shade, and actually cool our planet if we reflect more sunlight back into space. A sunny city could do best with a highly reflective flexible cover for the time being.

We will also have to contemplate the advantage of cooled farms. Soon the peak weather will destroy crops, dry them out and cook them. Trees and plants have a limited capacity to pull water out of the ground to cool themselves, once that limit is reached or the root system is not able to cope, the tree dries out and dies. Plants only need about 12% of the sunlight they get on a normal day. Farmers should work on the cheapest way to cover the largest area with sun reflecting shielding. This will reduce evaporation and humidity in hot areas.

Water mist cooling will hit a limit. Drying the air and reflecting sunlight will be more effective

We hope to see the first autonomous domed city to be developed in some desert soon, because this will be a stabile environment to work from. Our unprotected outside existence is sensitive to all kinds of calamities. We will not be able to count on environmental stability for long anymore.



 

Climate Vengeance

We are living in a world divided by people who want to keep using fossil fuels and nuclear and those that want to tap the vastly bigger potential of renewables. Renewables have 2500 times more potential, you can run 2500 more world economies on solar and wind than you can with fossil fuels.

But for now fossil fuels really have a grip on our economy, because it is so convenient, the fuel is its own storage medium, you can (if you are a bank) create credit and whoever you give it to can go out and buy products and services all generated for a large part with fossil fuels. We call that the carbon/credit cooperation between banks and oil companies. It drives incredible corruption of our politics.

But soon countries will stop using fossil fuels entirely, many already have targets of net zero emissions in 2050 or earlier. This is unavoidable, and for as long as humanity will continue to exist we will create zero carbon economies. Many will be happy about that but that happiness will be killed (quite literally) by the heat and unbearable climate we will see around 2060 but also before. A few days at 40 degrees with high humidity will have a serious impact everywhere, especially where there are no airconditioners.

A Nazi at the Neurenberg trials. Will we see this orderly proces for active climate deniers?

It is unavoidable people will try to trace back what happened, just like many of us are doing right now. We can point to australian PM Morrison who sabotaged the COP25 to protect his life and that of his wife at the cost of millions of others. We can point at many politicians who simply deny climate change exists or aknowledge it but don’t accept the cause. All these liars and their comrades will be known and many will be alive when we find out there is no easy way back.

We sometimes talk to the mostly right wing confabulators, who simply say “well, you know the Sun gets brighter and dimmer” or “well you know our planet will survive” (but their children will suffer and they don’t care, imagine the egotism). They think like Giuliani who said something to the effect of “I don’t give a fuck about my legacy” because of course he’ll be dead and won’t suffer under the consequences of his actions.

There are some who actively piece together the future, but almost everyone likes to piece together the past

We expect there to be a sizable group of people who want to bring the pain to those that caused it. We are not saying this should be done, but this has been the norm for a long time. Even after the wars those in the wrong have been punished, later. We know about the Neurenberg trials, about the abduction of Eichman. These german officers may have operated with impunity during the war, after the war they became exposed. Still many of them left to places where they lived in peace for many more years. This is a testament to the desire of humans to live peacefully, not exact vengeance at all cost.

There are list being made, some are quite public, of people that have knowingly misled and lied and bend the truth to serve themselves or some sick political agenda when it comes to climate. Not only oil companies themselves who spend billions on lobbying while they already had models of the disastrous effects of their products, but also politicians and pundits, scientists and IPCC and COP panel members who clearly did not respect the outcome of flawless sciencific research. They are know.

It is time to hint on this eventuality in conversations, because there is no better way to expose the fact these people know damn well they are committing a crime than to see their faces when they start feeling like someone may come back to them to settle the score. They instantly show their deep understanding of the climate problem, the risks and that they are exposing themselves. They now expect distractions and climate chaos (and death) to shield them, they should feel like we are on to them.

For them there is a simple rule : The truth will set them free. We can warn about climate change, but out of empathy for these people, we should start warning them about climate vengeance.



 

A Uniting Vision for Socialists

We are seeing an onslaught of right wing pro-fossil lies based politics on our democracies around the world. The tools to manipulate popular opinion have been automated and exposure to fake and personally tailored misrepresentations of reality is still great for a large portion of the world population. Removing the options to target voters with tailored but dishonest messages should be on the top of the agenda to protect our democracies.

Beyond that the socialist ideology has been corrupted in most countries. That is because the economy has been made so important, to the point that a cashless society becomes a real possibility. People will always have to trade in order to exist. True independence is not achievable, safe freedom is only survivable if you take part in the economy. Of course if it is up the the fossil economy you can be poor and die early if you choose to, you are nothing but a natural resource after all.

How can socialist really take a position that is stronger, more future proof, more acceptable and more social? How can they paint a future that people can embrace? The answer lies in aknowledging the current forces at play and how the economy operates. From thinking about these things a new vision follows that is simple, attractive and safe, and which is not offered by right wing conservatives.

Premise nr. 1. : We compete for fossil fuels through income. We compete with companies and machines, and we are obviously losing that competition as citizen.

Because the right wing dominated economy is build on fossil fuels, this is what we divide through our competition for income. If we can reduce cost to our employer we get a cut of access to fossil resources (our salary) but if we can’t because we are old and/or sick, employers lose interest. We become a burden because through social mechanisms we recieve benefits which reduce the resource pool employers can use to produce and make profit. Because we all compete for the same resource (fossil fuels) this dynamic results and individuals that are not ‘economically attractive’ are dumped.

Fossil Fuel Giants Claim To Support Climate Science, Yet Still Fund Denial

What socialists have done up until now is to work for more jobs, more access to a cut of the resources for people, better protection against the inclinations of employers to automate and fire people. This has never really worked because the reward for firing people is high. What socialists have done is to make that reward smaller and increase the value of employing someone. But the true insight is to step out of this entire dynamic, and there is a reason for that :

Premise nr. 2 : Automation will continue and conquer not only mechanical production but also white collar work, to the point that fully automated companies can exists in nearly every field, meaning close to 80% of the able workforce be redundant for the essential manufacturing jobs.

You can try to hang on to jobs, but in doing that you are supporting the right wing pro-fossil conception of our economy. Some say “automation will cost jobs but also allow the creation of new ones” but research shows automation means the replacement of high paying jobs by lower ones, if they are replaced at all. Part of that trend is of course also caused by the high cost of starting any initiative and the requirement of making profit as a new company doing new things. Socialists should hope for new jobs to emerge but it is naieve to trust there will, that is just what economists say to get you to accept the right wing perspective. Assume most important jobs will be automated and only low skilled work will remain.

The right wing attitude to this trend is “Great, we have all the money, all the resources, we’ll be rich, the rest can be servants!”. All those that think to much and can easily be bullied and intimidated or impressed will be either poor or serving us or whatever they can be with their low wage jobs. What should the socialists respons to this be? It is not easy to peal your mind off of injustice, to disengange from right wing anti-social attitudes, because the right is so good at pretending it has something it is not sharing. The right manipulates to get what it wants, every time, all the time. Socialists should look away.

What do they see when they are not caught in the mess created by the right wing distractors? Two things, first : Renewables are cheap and can produce energy in proportion to the needs of the economy. Renewable energy can replace fossil in every application, everywhere, and can be sourced indefinitely such that competition over access to them is NOT necessary.

Sure the right wing economy has brought renewables into its ‘energy markets’ and those markers are now leading us to more wind, more solar, more storage while at the same time companies and home owners are disappearing from the market entirely. Socialists should see that in long term having energy markets makes no sense at all. You produce energy in the quantities you need, yourself, or you rent an installation to do it (which forces you to earn money so less ideal).

So first of all there is no competition for energy, not between people, not between people and machines or people and machines and companies. This makes society more social. The goal of a socialists should therefore be to realise the absolute maximum growth of renewable energy utilization possible.

Second thing is : Automation is your friend, once you have energy covered. Once people no longer compete for income with machines or AI taking their place in companies, there is no harm in that trend to continue. What this implies is that everyone receives income based on the renewable energy utilization in the essential production. So lets say that production chain makes bread and does healthcare etc. Everyone should get credits to spend on bread and healthcare (or health insurance). This credit should be proportional to the renewable energy capacity available. This would amount to a kind of basic income for all.

A basic income has been proposed because fossil economists see as well as anybody that giving more money to people stimulates the economy, this has worked many times in soo many ways. The difference with that kind of basic income (one that does not differentiate between the source of energy) and what we propose here is that it creates resource competition, that it flies in the face of what companies like to see, that it sounds like a nice dream but that it can only be ‘afforded’ for a certain period after which (if there is no renewable energy base) the industrial lobby will reverse it after smearing it for as much time as it needs.

What a socialist can say is thus : “We want 100% or more renewables to support our lives and economies, we will then share access to that energy with anyone (with a basic minimum) while the market based on quality and style of things remains. This way of doing things will not burden anyone because renewables carry the burden. People will not be automated away as fast because the company will know its a trade off between atmosphere and profit, in fact the incentive for cut throat competition is reduced. With more and more renewables and more automation will come price drops, more freedom, more basic income etc.”

We think all socialists should think about this, not dismiss it outright but rather look for the pieces that need to come together. We are not there yet, and we need a lot more renewable energy sources. Some countries may demonstrate the lightness of being if renewables take over from fossil fuels, like for Morocco for instance. The fossil industry is working hard to prevent any positive examples, or ones where the economy is converted to renewables with less pain or at low cost. Socialist should adopt this vision and point to examples and highlight the cost reducing effect of not competing for energy (of course the effect of subsidies and price controls in fossil should be exposed).

We call the economy where renewables and automation make life easy for all the “Roboeconomy”, an economy in which robots can even restore the ecology. Socialists should get us there, but should also start to paint this picture, something that is not happening enough today.



 

Russia Needs Climate Action

Russia under Putin is a semi-cleptocracy. A lot like in Japan criminal gangs seem to be tolerated to a large extend, for instance usefull cybercriminals become hacking spies. It may also be a basic result of a hierarchy based on information and force, not on cooperation. Like China Russia is a dictatorship of sorts, but more free.

We don’t know enough of Russia to understand its seeming blind spot for climate change. We have never heard of any initiative there to stop it or slow it down, we only read that mammoth tusk are now found in large numbers because the permafrost is thawing, and methane is being released.

At the COP25 Russia doesn’t even pretend to help, it should not bother going if its not going to, instead like other countries with a strong fossil fuel dependend part of their economy it joins in and stifles progress. This is strange in a way because the risk that renewables will replace fossil any time soon is small. Even though the Sun does deliver enough energy in 8 minutes to replace all fossil fuels.

What is even stranger is the pretence there is something to fight for. A world warming 5 degrees (now expected in 2075) is not livable. All the methane stored in the permafrost will be released, the peet will have burned, the clathrate ice on the bottom of the oceans will also have released its methane. It is going to be very hot, and life will become very very hard.

It is impossible to understand why Russia is not taking the route of Morocco, but even better than Morocco, takes matters of production of solar panels and renewable technology in its own hands. It must be the Oligarchs (and Putin) who think they are unmanly when they do something out of fear. But of course its not fear but forsight. Stalin did’t fear the germans, he sacrificed so many because his hart was a machine, he used what he had even if it was people.

Putin must have a fear of seeming weak to not go for renewables as a tool to achieve true autonomy and pave a way to a prosperous future for all of the people of Russia. As things are now russians will have to live under domes with oxygen and greenhouses and what energy is going to be available if all the pipes have cracked because they run over melting tundra? Not so smart.

If Putin saw his true strategic opportunity in renewables instead of gas (selling it to Turkey, such a sunny country!) he would be a true patriot and nobody would need to know. He could export crappy solar panels and keep the good ones for Russia. Of course Russia has massive tree cover and converting these to burried charcoal (sequestring carbon) while planting new trees could be a major way to fight climate change. Of course the energy to run that process could come from either the trees or some combination with renewables.

If you want to catch a fish you need patience, but you have to throw out your line. The river could be teeming with fish and you’d never know!