No Fool Like a Green Fool

Mark Z. Jacobson: 100% Renewable Excrement

Debunked champion of the 100% renewable future, discredited Stanford professor Mark Jacobson has sunk to his lowest level yet. Hoping against hope to redeem his justly savaged reputation, he is suing the authors and publishers of the scientific article that debunked his wild claims!

Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson has filed a lawsuit, demanding $10 million in damages, against the peer-reviewed scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and a group of eminent scientists (Clack et al.) for their study showing that Jacobson made improper assumptions in order to claim that he had demonstrated U.S. energy could be provided exclusively by renewable energy, primarily wind, water, and solar.

… What Jacobson has done is unprecedented. Scientific disagreements must be decided not in court but rather through the scientific process. __ Environmental Progress

Asking a court of law to determine issues of scientific validity is nothing new in the fantasy world of neo-environmentalism. But what Jacobson is doing is asking for courts to levy damages against scientists and a scientific publisher for daring to expose his double-dealing pseudoscientific shenanigans! If scientists cannot call other scientists on their mistaken assumptions, faulty methods, and overly grandiose claims, then science is finished.

This Comes Against a Background of Green Collapse

Wind turbine makers will find it more and more difficult to survive, as government welfare starts slipping through their fingers. Electric vehicle makers such as Tesla can see no end to their losses, as similar government handouts start to be reeled back in. The sad truth about the growing mountain of toxic waste from the solar industry is giving more thoughtful environmentalists pause, as they begin to re-evaluate the headlong rush into a “solar future.”

Smart Environmentalists are Re-Thinking the Wisdom of the Stampede

It takes a lot of steel, a lot of concrete, and a lot of formerly unspoiled land to produce those unreliable megawatts!

… a MW of installed capacity for wind requires 460 metric tons of steel and 870 m3 of concrete compared to the 98 metric tons of steel and 160 m3 of concrete for coal, and the even lower 40 metric tons of steel and 90 m3 of concrete for nuclear. Natural gas is the lowest of all, requiring a little over 3 metric tons of steel and 27 m3 of concrete per MW, the reason gas plants are the cheapest and easiest to build. ___

In reality, one cannot count on big wind and big solar to produce those costly megawatts when they are needed. A megawatt of unreliable/low quality energy cannot be compared to a megawatt of high quality on-demand energy — in the life or death world of electric power infrastructure.

Wind and solar megawatts cost more, they consume more costly materials and land, they destroy wildlife and wildlife habitat, and these megawatts are unreliable and of the lowest quality, but at the highest cost. So what good are they???

Green Energy Scam Hand in Glove With Climate Apocalypse Cult

If not for the grand green cult of climate apocalypse, only utter idiots would be taken in by the green energy scam. But since the climate apocalypse cult can claim most of the media, academia, the deep state, tax free foundations, NGOs, political activist groups, trial lawyer groups, and other collective denizens of the parasitic elite as dues-paying members, society as a whole is fouled up in the sticky green web. Breaking free of this corrupt and delusional enterprise will not be easy.

28 Years of Green Psychosis Requires the Strongest Shock Treatment

The green scam thrives on taxpayer dollars and government policy. Legislators and executives in government need to cut the parasite at its root, and deny it the unearned nourishment it has been sucking up for the past several years. Unfortunately the rot of fanatical delusion penetrates into university, high schools, grammar schools, down to the kindergarten curriculum level. Eradicating all of the intentional sabotage would take decades, and would inevitably fall short of total success. There is a lot of money in the great green scam, and the public at large seems to enjoy being deceived.

Cutting off the funds to the green parasite is only an initial — but necessary first step. Cleaning up all the stinking tendrils that enmesh and infest most sectors of society will take generations. And that is unlikely to happen without the most drastic measures being taken.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

The history of the great green scam is edifying to read. Here is a small sampling:

Posted in Green Quagmire | Tagged ,

Mr. Putin’s Russia, Today

Turning Russia’s Neighbors into Enemies?

Putin has succeeded where centuries of Ukrainian nationalists failed: he has created a strong sense of [Ukrainian] national identity—and he has imbued it with deep anti-Russian sentiment. After Russia’s seizure of Crimea and some 10,000 dead in Donbass, that is easily understood.

… Hostility toward Moscow manifests itself in [many] ways. More Ukrainians now make a point to use Ukrainian rather than Russian. Harkening back to Moscow’s claim to a special right to protect ethnic Russians and Russians speakers, wherever they might be and regardless of their citizenship, a joke on the streets in Kiev is, “I’m afraid of speaking Russian now, because Putin might want to protect me.” __ Brookings

The same sentiments are easily seen across Eastern Europe and well into Central Asia. The people and government of Belarus are increasingly antagonistic toward Moscow, and the native peoples of Central Asia no longer bother to hide their hostility toward the ethnic Russians who still live amongst them.

And what is really happening inside Russia, that is not being reported on the mainstream? Warning: It isn’t pretty.

Russian Language News Links


  • Educational and medical infrastructures in steep decline
  • Officials unconcerned about rising mortality
  • Illegal abortions rising
  • Fertility rates falling
  • Demographic Decline a “Perfect Storm”

List of free online webpage translators, useful for reading full Russian language articles linked below in your own language.

One Problem of Many

Prison hospitals have been called “death factories” because so many die in them ( The intellectual degradation of the education system means that Russia will soon have a deficit of 10 million trained specialists, something the government doesn’t seem concerned about (,, and

The health minister of Sverdlovsk oblast says that rising mortality rates among older groups is a good thing because it reduces pressure on the pension fund ( and People in Vladimir Oblast have complained to Putin about the sad state of hospitals there (, and health experts say the rising number of maternal deaths in Russian villages reflects the growth in illegal abortions because of the absence of facilities, yet another a result of Putin’s optimization program (

A lack of polio vaccines threatens to spark a polio epidemic in Russia ( There is also a serious shortage of insulin in the Russian Far East (, and Russian pharmacy companies have stopped making needed but less profitable medicines (

The Western sanctions regime and Russian counter-sanctions is pushing Russian demographic figures down, provoking outmigration, and helping to drive fertility rates down even faster than the rate of decline in the number of women in prime child-bearing cohorts ( , and

The construction industry is collapsing in many places ( Ever more companies are unprofitable (, and many others are losing confidence that they will soon return to growth (

Russian consumption levels fell more between 2014 when Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine and 2016 than they did during the entire 1990s. As a result, Russia has seen its consumption decline in the last three years more than all the countries of the world except for Congo, Zimbabwe, and its victim Ukraine (

___ More links to Russian language news stories

These Russian language news stories do not fit the mainstream narrative — in fact they do not really fit any particular narrative very well. When we step away from our preconceptions and face cold realities, we learn that the world is much messier the more deeply we look.

Is Putin Descending into Madness?

Putin’s long and risky good-bye

Petersburg “troll factory” update

Russian military buildup hampered by corruption and mismanagement

Time to Liberate Russian Girls and Women

Saving Russia’s girls and young women from Mr. Putin’s gulag has never been more urgent.

To a Better World

Posted in Russia | Tagged ,

China’s Junk-Rated Future

One Belt One Road: Leap Into the Uncertain Future

China’s Mr. Xi has attained the pinnacle of one-man power in The Middle Kingdom. In order to achieve his ambition to make China the leading global power in economic, political, and military terms, he has committed the nation to the massive infrastructure project known as One Belt One Road (OBOR).

The majority of the nations in OBOR are junk-rated or not graded by international rating firms. China’s Obor drive is actually beginning to encounter a backlash in some partner countries.

__ Brahma Chellaney

The overland portion of OBOR represents the greatest initial challenge, with the least obvious payoff. Sea-based transport is far less expensive and ultimately more profitable than land transport. The sea-based portion of OBOR holds more potential, but China remains limited in its sea-going potential due to a number of devastating “maritime chokepoints” off of China’s coastline and beyond.

Mr Xi’s vision, which he has called the “Chinese dream”, is essentially to make China the world’s preeminent power by 2049, the centenary of communist rule. The longest that any similar system has survived in modern history was 74 years in the Soviet Union. Mr Xi’s grip on power may [or may not] still be intact when China overtakes that record in less than seven years…

Mr Xi … sees the West in retreat and wants China to gain the upper hand globally… Mr Xi wants to make China the central player in the international order. ___ The National

Mr. Xi — like Mr. Putin before him — seems to have leaped too soon, and his nation is likely to pay very dearly for his miscalculation. The appearance of indomitable strength is not the same thing as indomitable strength. Mr. Xi appears to have taken his own propaganda and ginned up statistics too seriously — committing the particularly egregious sin of projecting past trends into the future far beyond their expiration dates.

China doesn’t always offer the best value to partnering countries. Projects are often tied to political pacts through which China’s state-owned enterprises get exclusive bidding rights, as opposed to competitive tenders between SOEs and other international firms. Research by the Economist Intelligence Unit shows that in the case of Kenya, Chinese companies have delivered the centerpiece Standard Gauge Railway at a cost of $5.6 million per km, close to three times the international standard and four times the original estimate.

Poorly chosen projects funded by cheap loans from China’s may undermine the host countries’ ability to repay debts, which may ultimately put pressure on China’s banks. China has extended huge credit lines, estimated by Fitch Ratings at some $900 billion so far, to support the OBOR strategy, with much of the money being channeled into countries where the risk of debt default is high, such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka.

Given the speed at which the Chinese government is hoping to expand the OBOR strategy, the above factors raise the risk of ultimately dampening its effectiveness and undermining China’s efforts to expand its global influence. __ Problems with OBOR

China’s looming debt mountain — combined with the deadly toxic China Bubble — represent problems that the thoroughly corrupted dragon has not even begun to face.


China’s overcapacity/overproduction problem

China’s fantasy future

A sadder reality for most.

So why does Xi Jinping believe that the Party is fighting for its life? Because he knows that behind this gleaming facade lies another reality. He knows that the people who live and work in the soaring buildings dare not drink tap water, their life expectancy has been cut by five years by polluted air, and cancer is growing in their babies’ lungs due to levels of PM2.5 invisible to the eye but clearly shown by an app on my iPhone.

… It is not only their savings that the rich are trying to move abroad; China is suffering from the greatest brain drain in the history of the world (by 2006, 750,000 students who had studied abroad had failed to return to China.)

… It is not only their rulers whom the common people distrust: they tell me their distrust runs horizontally as well as vertically. They shake their heads and say: “In China there is no trust, and no truth.”

Mr. Xi Takes a Wild Leap

Going back thousands of years, China’s history is full of ambitious expansions followed by devastating collapse. Today’s Chinese Communist Party of Mr. Xi appears ready to take another wild ride on the cyclic China Express. It is difficult to see any other outcome than bloodshed on a grand scale — a phenomenon that historians often airbrush out of their portraits of time.

China’s geopolitics through the ages as “cycles of reunifications and expansions, followed by decay and fragmentations.” __ A Precipitate and Irrational Expansion

Always watch the fundamentals and discount the official public pronouncements and rah! rah! cheerleading. Remember that right up until the Soviet Union fell, it was still being promoted as the successor world superpower destined to replace the US — by a mainstream media and world punditry that remains similarly blindered and tunnel-visioned today.

Posted in China | Tagged | 1 Comment

A Mind Forever Young

Maintaining A Youthful Outlook

Two striking features of healthy children are a curious inquisitiveness and a sense of playfulness. Young kids are always asking questions. Ordinary preschool children ask about 100 questions per day. But then something tragic often happens soon after a child starts school.

Why Do Ordinary Kids Stop Asking Questions?
Source: A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger

This is one of the tragedies of modern schooling and child-raising. Children who go to conventional schools too often have almost all the inquisitiveness stamped out of them. A conscious schooltime suppression of inquisitiveness in children makes them old and dull before their time.

The Problems of the Future Require People Who Can Ask the Right Questions

Solving problems in the real world is altogether different from scoring points on multiple choice exams in school. Improvisational problem-solving facilitated by asking the right questions makes a worker or an entrepreneur far more valuable and sought after in the real world — especially in a world of accelerating change where novel problems are always appearing.

The world and workplace of the future will demand that its workers and entrepreneurs be observant, nimble, and able to anticipate important trends and changes that are likely to take place. If children and youth never learn to ask the important questions about things and events happening around them, they will be lost and at the mercy of prevailing powers.

Sadly, too many children are discouraged from active engagement and the asking of questions by school systems that are more concerned with generating numbers for government departments, rather than producing healthy and inquisitive young people who can think for themselves.

Student Engagement Over Time

The graph above from a Gallup study reveals the steady decline in student engagement over time. This says more about teaching methods in conventional schools than it does about the students themselves.

Along with Inquisitiveness, A Sense of Playfulness is Indispensable

Play is central to the learning processes of very young children. And even as children grow older, play is a key component to learning foundational skills and for developing latent talents. Active play allows children to think outside the box and ask “what if?” questions which open new worlds of thinking.

New Generations of Youth Lack a Healthy Playfulness

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena discovered that recent engineering hires who were meant to replace older engineers who were retiring, did not know how to solve basic engineering problems with which they were confronted on the job. After investigating the reasons for this disturbing shortcoming of new engineers, they discovered something important about the type of engineers they needed to hire:

The JPL managers went back to look at their … retiring engineers… They found that in their youth, their older, problem-solving employees had taken apart clocks to see how they worked, or made soapbox derby racers, or built hi-fi stereos, or fixed appliances. The younger engineering school graduates who had also done these things, who had played with their hands, were adept at the kind of problem solving that management sought. Those that hadn’t, generally were not. __ From “Play” by Stuart Brown MD with Christopher Vaughan

The same problem with new hires and recent graduates is being seen in workplaces across the US as young people who were never given the experience of creative play and tinkering are hitting the workplace. People who developed the skills of improvising and tinkering in their youth will never forget these playful forms of problem-solving. Those who passed through their youthful years without developing these skills are at a serious practical disadvantage in a world of accelerating change, with newer unconventional problems popping up regularly.

Another example:

[Nate] Jones ran a machine shop that specialized in precision racing and Formula One tires, and he had noticed that many of the new kids coming to work in the shop were … not able to problem solve… After questioning the new kids and older employees, Jones found that those who had worked and played with their hands as they were growing up were able to “see solutions” that those who hadn’t worked with their hands could not. __ Play

We know that children pass through windows of sensitive neurological development as they grow older. If certain “connections” in the brain are not made during these sensitive periods of development, it will be more difficult — if not impossible — for many of these young people to make these important connections when they are older.

Asking the Right Questions Meshes with Skillful Improvisation

If humans grow up mastering the skills of playful improvisation and focused inquisitiveness, their minds will be continually “reset” and renewed, in contrast to the masses of people whose minds begin to atrophy soon after starting school — and continue sliding downward into mindless conformity the further their education takes them.

Children and youth who develop the skills of asking good questions combined with competent and playful improvisation will find themselves in demand. And if these youth and young adults have also learned how to manage their finances, they are likely to eventually find themselves reasonable well off financially.

Dangerous Children, for example, learn to master at least three means of financial independence by the age of 18 years. Besides having multiple skills that are sought after in the marketplace, they have also learned to manage the finances of a household and of multiple small businesses by that same early age. Where they go from there is entirely up to them.

But that is just the beginning of what makes Dangerous Children skilled and nimble in this world or virtually any other human world. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood, but the sooner begun, the better.

More information on questions, and play:

Right Question Institute
National Institute for Play

The above posting was adapted from an earlier article in The Dangerous Child blog.

Posted in Childhood Development, Competence, Creativity | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Fundamental Confusion of The Information Age

Never in history has so much information been at the fingertips of so many human beings. And yet never have so many humans been so confused, so dismayed, so driven to addiction and a compulsive aimlessness.

Humans confuse data for information, information for knowledge, knowledge for truth, and truth for wisdom. So easily misled and waylaid by purveyors of false data and false knowledge, yet so certain of the rightness of our mashed up beliefs and clapped together causes.

The information signals never stop, 24 hours of news – opinion – internet – social media and the reflections and highly processed backwash of the same from friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. But what does it all mean — and more importantly — where should it all lead in terms of personal action?

Beliefs are Cheap, Actions are Risky

Beliefs are like shite, they happen. They are a byproduct of brain assimilation and processing of data, and excremental as they are, they form the foundations of our future actions. Given the neglectful and absentminded way that our beliefs are typically formed, this nugget of information should frighten you — but it probably doesn’t.

We are Producing an Inferior Human Substrate

As a result of our compulsive over-emphasis on data and our neglect of truth and wisdom, the bulk of human brains being produced these days are sadly misinformed, and totally unsuited for solving the kinds of problems that they are themselves creating.

This mismatch of supply and demand has always been the case throughout history — it is a most salient element of the human condition. But in The Information Age, the entire fiasco has been turned up several notches. In fact, modern society is built upon an insatiable addiction for data — and the absolute need to manipulate belief systems using public and private information flows.

If you have to ask who the sucker in this scenario is, it is probably you.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

The information below is a few years out of date, and doesn’t include news and popular media or most government, academic, and corporate information flows. Updated quantities should probably be multiplied by factors of ten, at least.

Every minute of every day we create:

– More than 204 million email messages
– Over 2 million Google search queries
– 48 hours of new YouTube videos
– 684,000 bits of content shared on Facebook
– More than 100,000 tweets

Posted in Knowledge | Tagged | 2 Comments

What Kind of Pathetic Wimps are We Raising?

When we raise kids unaccustomed to facing anything on their own, including risk, failure, and hurt feelings, our society and even our economy are threatened. Yet modern child-rearing practices and laws seem all but designed to cultivate this lack of preparedness. There’s the fear that everything children see, do, eat, hear, and lick could hurt them. And there’s a newer belief that has been spreading through higher education that words and ideas themselves can be traumatizing.

How did we come to think a generation of kids can’t handle the basic challenges of growing up? __ Reason

New generations of children seem to be swept along on a massive wave of fear, incompetence, and perpetual immature adolescence. College only seems to make it worse!

colleges treat their students like hatchlings not yet ready to leave the nest, as opposed to preparing and encouraging them to fly.

__ Inside Higher Educationvia

Safe spaces, speech codes, segregated cafeterias/dorms/student unions, lack of ideological diversity in the classrooms and guest lectures, etc. all lead to fragile little snowflakes who will not be able to face the world as it is.

Children Need to face Risk in order to Develop

At the same time that adults are choosing to have fewer and fewer children, they also seem to feel it necessary to protect their rare “trophy children” from all risks whatsoever. But the real world has no tolerance for human beings who are incapable of dealing with challenges and risks. Sooner or later these special young things will pay the price for their parents’ lack of sense.

Preventing our kids from exploring uncertainty could have unintended negative consequences for their health and development, such as increased sedentary behaviour, anxiety and phobias. __ Source

It is much worse than that, of course. Modern societies are in danger of ceding the common spaces to violent and ideologically intolerant gangs and special interest groups. Civil society cannot exist in the absence of civilised common spaces, where people of varying backgrounds are free to mingle and interact. Interaction on the internet is a poor substitute for interactions in real life.

When we keep our kids constantly supervised by an adult, we think we are keeping them safe. But in fact we are doing the opposite. Kids need some independence — and even a little risk.

A study on risky play published in Evolutionary Psychology found that kids ‘dose’ themselves with the level of risk they can handle.

… Children deprived of these opportunities can end up more anxious. They haven’t been able to build up their bravery, organise their own games or solve their own spats. They have never got lost and had to find their way home, scared and then triumphant. Their coping skills are stunted.

That could be why today’s students are having a harder time than earlier generations at getting along on their own. From 2011 to 2016, the number of undergraduates in America reporting ‘overwhelming anxiety’ jumped from 50 to 62 per cent. Having been protected from so many risks and discomforts, children remain hypersensitive to them on the cusp of adulthood. __

The Fragile Generation

One day last year, a citizen on a prairie path in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst came upon a teen boy chopping wood. Not a body. Just some already-fallen branches. Nonetheless, the onlooker called the cops.

Officers interrogated the boy, who said he was trying to build a fort for himself and his friends. A local news site reports the police then “took the tools for safekeeping to be returned to the boy’s parents.”

… Today many kids are raised like veal. Only 13 percent of them even walk to school. Many who take the bus wait at the stop with parents beside them like bodyguards. For a while, Rhode Island was considering a bill that would prohibit children from getting off the bus in the afternoon if there wasn’t an adult waiting to walk them home. This would have applied until seventh grade. __ Reason

Not only have the new generation of fearful parents bought into the “philosophy of riskless child-raising,” but police forces and other civil servants have been co-opted into the perverse project of infantilising the next generations.

Why Children Need Risk

The general incompetence and lifelong immaturity that flows naturally out of the lack of childhood risk and adventure, is just one of the prices that society will have to pay. An increasing breakdown of public civility and overall law and order are additional likely consequences in large central city areas of Europe and the Anglosphere — where this plague of lifelong infantilisation is most severe.

Interesting Reading:

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Gever Tully: Tinkering School, 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)

Dangerous Child blog

… without adults intervening, the kids have to do all the problem solving for themselves, from deciding what game to play to making sure the teams are roughly equal. Then, when there’s an argument, they have to resolve it themselves. That’s a tough skill to learn, but the drive to continue playing motivates them to work things out. To get back to having fun, they first have to come up with a solution, so they do. This teaches them that they can disagree, hash it out, and—perhaps with some grumbling—move on.

These are the very skills that are suddenly in short supply on college campuses. __ Lenore Skenazy and Jonathan Haidt in Reason

Posted in Childhood Development, Competence, Dangerous Child, Education, Groupthink, University | Tagged ,

China’s Growth is 100% Debt Driven

China Debt Mountain
100% Debt Driven Growth
Bloomberg via Mishtalk

China leads the world in economic growth but that growth is 100% debt-driven. China’s recent $10 trillion in growth comes from $10 trillion in additional debt.

… The instability of China’s credit-fueled, investment-focused growth strategy is—without a doubt—one of the greatest systemic risks facing the global economy according to Hedgeye Financials analyst Jonathan Casteleyn.

… __ Source

“The Chinese system has been propped up by debt-fueled growth,” Casteleyn explains in the video above from The Macro Show. “Eventually this very substantial contributor to GDP could start a banking crisis at some point.” __ Source

China’s non-performing loans (NPLs) are eroding the foundations of the national economy — and every other economy that China touches. Most of these NPLs relate to state-owned enterprises, which are too closely tied to communist party officials’ personal finances for China to allow the zombie industries to die, as they should have done years ago.

China is Not the Only Nation With Debt Problems

Many nations of Europe, the Anglosphere, and free Asia are likewise dealing with problems of rising debt, although not with the same degree of toxic undertow that plagues China’s Communist Party system — dogged by corruption and ideological dysfunction as it is. China is being overwhelmed by toxicity of its air, water, soil, food, and other products. It is growing old before getting its economic act together. Its economy is largely a Potemkin bubble, and most of what is real consists of assets that were stolen, pirated, or taken from naive foreign investors who never expected to be stabbed in the back.

In the US, Obama’s mindless debt binge is just now being slowly turned back by the new administration. All in all, the Trump administration is doing a magnificent job in gradually turning back much of the US governmental rot that has set in over the past 28 years or so.

US Millenial Snowflakes Love Trump’s Tax Plan!

Young leftists love the Trump plan — if it is presented as Bernie Sanders’ plan. 😉

Clearly these young snowflakes have no deep foundations of knowledge. Like most modern consumers of mainstream propaganda, they judge everything by surface appearances alone.

It should be obvious that if not for the propaganda classes and the classes of brainless sheep who listen to them, Trump’s reforms could move the US back toward constitutional government far more quickly.

More on China’s ongoing crisis:

China’s GDP fiasco

Fast forward the video to about 5 minutes for clearer audio:

Posted in China, Demographics, Economics, Poison | 2 Comments

Electrical Brain Stimulation and Enhanced Learning

By implanting neural sensor arrays into the brains of monkeys, scientists in Malibu, Montreal, and New York have begun to discover why tDCS electrical brain stimulation seems to boost learning. By measuring the brain’s response to tDCS while in the process of learning, researchers found that targeted electrical stimulation on the scalp facilitates high frequency brain wave coherence between distant brain regions. Brain wave synchrony at these frequencies seems to raise learning efficiencies and speeds.

First, scientists at McGill took macaques monkeys and implanted sensor arrays inside their brains. While other studies have done similar experiments monitoring the brain with an EEG machine, here scientists could measure the firing of neurons in vivo (from the inside), using intracranial sensing.

The non-stimulated monkeys went through 22 trials before the association was fully formed. Stimulated monkeys took only 12 trials. This was about a 40% improvement in learning speed.

The sensor implants within the monkey’s brains were able to record the changes caused by tDCS. __ Source h/t NBF

Human Brain Hemisphere (L) Lateral

The tDCS cut the average number of trials to learn the assigned task (visual foraging for food) almost in half. And the scientists also learned the best moment in time to engage the electrical stimulation for the specific task, to maximise learning efficiency.

The improved long-range connectivity between brain areas in the high frequency bands and reduced connectivity in the low frequency bands were the determining factors in our study that could explain the learning improvements with tDCS of the prefrontal cortex,” Pilly said. “Just because neurons can be more brisk in their firing may not lead to changes in performance. Boosting memory function likely requires better coordination of task-relevant information across the cortex.” __ HRL Laboratories h/t Brian Wang

Published study abstract in Current Biology

Brain wave synchrony between distant brain areas at higher frequencies is thought to be the primary way that different aspects of complex “thought objects” are bound together. This concept was explored in depth in the book “Rhythms of the Brain” by Gyorgy Buszaki.


2 hour seminar on noninvasive brain stimulation from Center for Consciousness Studies:

NIH lecture series on Multimodal Brain Stimulation:

We are in the early stages for this type of research, using electromagnetic stimulation to enhance normal human potential. Up until now, most research using these modalities (TMS, tDCS etc) looked specifically at the potential for mitigating disease states such as Parkinson’s, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimers, and other diseases related to brain pathology.

Given that the tDCS learning research above was sponsored by the US DARPA, it is likely that it will be pursued as long as it shows positive potential.

Posted in Human Brain, Learning Theory | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Mind the Brain

Human Brain Chart

The better you can understand your brain, the better you can understand your own mind. And understanding your own mind is an open door to self-liberation and freedom. Short of that, every human being is a slave to mindless habits, automatic trance states, and manipulation by outside special interests and powerful forces.

The short video clip below by Jordan Peterson provides a preliminary sketch of the human brain as a whole.

Peterson is a clinical psychologist and philosopher, so his concerns about the brain deal largely with higher level functions. But the brain can be understood on multiple levels — from the molecular to the neuronal to the local nuclear and neural cluster levels to lobes and white matter connections between organised brain centres.

Brain Networks

Neuroscientists are beginning to focus more closely on “brain networks” and the “brain connectome”. Brain networks are now often seen as the highest level of brain function involved in consciousness, and the interconnections of the connectome facilitate the real time operation and interlinking of of brain locations and systems — which allows brain networks to emerge.

Human Connectome

Default mode network: a network of brain regions that are active when the individual is not focused on the outside world and the brain is at wakeful rest

Attention networks: Primarily mediated by the frontal areas of the brain including the anterior cingulate cortex, attentional control is thought to be closely related to other executive functions such as working memory.

Cingulate Cortex: cortical hub. Anterior CC (ACC): cognition, arousal/motivation/drive, motor control, FOCUSED attention; Posterior CC (PCC): general, broad monitoring __

Many cognitive scientists now believe that the interplay between the insular cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex plays an important role in how emotions / feelings combine with higher level executive functions to synthesise our day to day mind operations.

In terms of function, the insula is believed to process convergent information to produce an emotionally relevant context for sensory experience. To be specific, the anterior insula is related more to olfactory, gustatory, vicero-autonomic, and limbic function, whereas the posterior insula is related more to auditory-somesthetic-skeletomotor function. Functional imaging experiments have revealed that the insula has an important role in pain experience and the experience of a number of basic emotions, including anger, fear, disgust, happiness, and sadness.[59]

The anterior insular cortex (AIC) is believed to be responsible for emotional feelings, including maternal and romantic love, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, sexual arousal, disgust, aversion, unfairness, inequity, indignation, uncertainty,[60] disbelief, social exclusion, trust, empathy, sculptural beauty, a ‘state of union with God’, and hallucinogenic state.[61]

Functional imaging studies have also implicated the insula in conscious desires, such as food craving and drug craving. What is common to all of these emotional states is that they each change the body in some way and are associated with highly salient subjective qualities. The insula is well-situated for the integration of information relating to bodily states into higher-order cognitive and emotional processes. The insula receives information from “homeostatic afferent” sensory pathways via the thalamus and sends output to a number of other limbic-related structures, such as the amygdala, the ventral striatum, and the orbitofrontal cortex, as well as to motor cortices.[62] __ Insular Cortex

After digesting the gist of what the insular cortex is currently thought to do, consider the anterior cingulate cortex (the ACC):

The dorsal part of the ACC is connected with the prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex, as well as the motor system and the frontal eye fields,[5] making it a central station for processing top-down and bottom-up stimuli and assigning appropriate control to other areas in the brain. By contrast, the ventral part of the ACC is connected with the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, hyppocampus, and anterior insula, and is involved in assessing the salience of emotion and motivational information. The ACC seems to be especially involved when effort is needed to carry out a task, such as in early learning and problem-solving.[6] __

The insular is best connected with the body’s internal sensors, while the anterior cingulate cortex (planning and judgment) is well connected to the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system (emotions), and the hippocampus (memory).

You Are What You Think (and do)

The different parts of the brain — and the interconnections between them — shrink or grow based upon what one thinks about and what one does with his time. The brain of a pianist will look distinctly different to an experienced brain scientist than will the brain of a mathematician or heart surgeon. Brains of accomplished individuals will display differently on anatomical or functional scans, depending upon their areas of expertise.

We should probably expect to see such diversity in brain functioning and brain anatomy between differently skilled persons of accomplishment — and between persons of accomplishment and persons who devote themselves almost exclusively to trivial pursuits. Even more interesting are the differences one would find when comparing the brains of persons who live in emotional turmoil, with the brains of persons who have largely found peace within themselves and with those around them. We need better imaging devices with higher spatial and temporal resolutions, but we can already note important differences with the machines that are already available.

Not Just Practise, But the Right Kind of Practise

If we wish our brains and our minds to function optimally, we need to work at it — to practise. But that takes a lot of work, and to do work we need to be motivated. Understanding the benefits of proper practise can help to motivate us to make more of an effort in shaping the different parts of our brains and lives.

The higher up the ladder toward mastery we climb, the more skilled we need to be at devising the types of practise we work at.

More for your consideration:

10,000 Hours to Expertise?

Professor K. Anders Ericsson studied the links between practise and expertise. Ericsson discovered that in some domains, expertise improved with increased levels of practise.

From “Expertise:”

For example, the critical difference between expert musicians differing in the level of attained solo performance concerned the amounts of time they had spent in solitary practice during their music development, which totaled around 10,000 hours by age 20 for the best experts, around 5,000 hours for the least accomplished expert musicians and only 2,000 hours for serious amateur pianists. More generally, the accumulated amount of deliberate practice is closely related to the attained level of performance of many types of experts, such as musicians (Ericsson et al., 1993; Sloboda, et al., 1996), chessplayers (Charness, Krampe & Mayr, 1996) and athletes (Starkes et al., 1996).

In other areas, highly practised experts performed no better than “less trained individuals”:

… recent studies show that there are, at least, some domains where “experts” perform no better then less trained individuals (cf. outcomes of therapy by clinical psychologists, Dawes, 1994) and that sometimes experts’ decisions are no more accurate than beginners’ decisions and simple decision aids (Camerer & Johnson, 1991; Bolger & Wright, 1992). Most individuals who start as active professionals or as beginners in a domain change their behavior and increase their performance for a limited time until they reach an acceptable level. Beyond this point, however, further improvements appear to be unpredictable and the number of years of work and leisure experience in a domain is a poor predictor of attained performance (Ericsson & Lehmann, 1996).

How do experts solve problems?

… For appropriate challenging problems experts don’t just automatically extract patterns and retrieve their response directly from memory. Instead they select the relevant information and encode it in special representations in working memory that allow planning, evaluation and reasoning about alternative courses of action (Ericsson & Lehmann, 1996). Hence, the difference between experts and less skilled subjects is not merely a matter of the amount and complexity of the accumulated knowledge; it also reflects qualitative differences in the organization of knowledge and its representation (Chi, Glaser & Rees, 1982). Experts’ knowledge is encoded around key domain-related concepts and solution procedures that allow rapid and reliable retrieval whenever stored information is relevant. Less skilled subjects’ knowledge, in contrast, is encoded using everyday concepts that make the retrieval of even their limited relevant knowledge difficult and unreliable. Furthermore, experts have acquired domain-specific memory skills that allow them to rely on long-term memory (Long-Term Working Memory, Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995) to dramatically expand the amount of information that can be kept accessible during planning and during reasoning about alternative courses of action. The superior quality of the experts’ mental representations allow them to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances and anticipate future events in advance. The same acquired representations appear to be essential for experts’ ability to monitor and evaluate their own performance (Ericsson, 1996; Glaser, 1996) so they can keep improving their own performance by designing their own training and assimilating new knowledge.

Going by the above descriptions, it should be clear that most of the persons who are thrown up as “experts” to the general public are not experts at all, but poseurs who are capable of speaking in jargon and mouthing simulations of reasonable arguments about superficial — often misleading — ideas.

It should also be clear why some people can never be actual experts, no matter how much practise time they put in. The quality of their cognitive apparatus cannot cope with the amount, complexity, and sophistication of concepts which must be skillfully stored, organised, and manipulated. But beyond the levels of cognitive skill, character structures likewise constrain many people from rising to the levels of expertise which a well-functioning society demands. Conscientiousness, impulse control, planning skills, motivation, grit, resilience, etc. etc. fall broadly under the umbrella of “executive functions” which are critical to achieving higher levels of expertise and success.

Finally, personality traits make some persons more likable than others, more empathetic than others, and better communicators than others. Persons with better developed personality traits are more apt to achieve success in many areas — including working their ways into positions where higher levels of expertise can be best applied.

Posted in Cognition, Human Brain, Learning Theory, Optimism, Philosophy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

They Merely Dislike Trump Less Than They Do the Other Guys

Most US voters do not care much for Trump. But they dislike his elitist detractors far more.

The Strange, Effective Logic of Trump’s Tweets

While the news and entertainment media tie themselves in knots reacting to last night’s tweets, Trump has already moved on to the next significant — but unnoticed — accomplishment.

Trump … in gesture, accent, vocabulary, and rashness, sounds like a cigar-chomping blue-collar machinist out of our past who is said to be outrageous in his crudity only because he is condemned by those who are far more outrageous in their mannered sobriety. In some sense, Trump welcomes wounds in order to inflict greater ones on the proverbial establishment.

… Trump is a sort of Road Runner: gone to reply to the next provocation by the time his Wile E. Coyote critics can put their hands around his long-gone neck. The pushback against him is usually yesterday’s news drowned out by tomorrow’s new melodrama. __ VDH

Flyover country — middle America — tried nice guys who didn’t fight back. But the nice guys lost. They thought they would try someone not so nice this time.

“We tried nice guys,” she said. “We had John McCain. Mitt Romney. They were nice, smiling at everybody, but they couldn’t beat out Hillary. Romney, I mean come on. The only thing people remember about him is that he tied a dog to his roof.”
__ The Nice Guys Lost

Trump is not a nice guy. Sometimes a brawler, sometimes a buffoon, oftimes a clown. But not so nice. More and more, that’s what his supporters like about him. Because his opposition is far worse, far more dishonest, far more vicious — in an after midnight, well obscured and covered up sort of way.

Mr. Trump understands that most of middle America wants economic growth — not leftist posturing such as they got from the late, unlamented ex-president Obama. The US Democratic Party has swerved so far to the extreme left that it has no conception of what economic growth is, much less how to achieve it. President Trump is far better schooled in those ways. He had to be, since he has actually done real work and created real jobs — unlike the posturing fools who prat on about this bizarre tweet or the other.

The old school of Democrat Party politicians sees the danger of moving too far into the leftist dysfunction.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said in a radio interview on Sunday that Democrats can lose to President Donald Trump in 2020 if they “overdo it” by becoming too liberal.

Not that tricky Dick Durbin will ever change his spots. He is warning his friends to hide their more leftist tendencies so that voters will be none the wiser.

There is much that humans do not know about their worlds and the universe in which they live. Even such a seemingly simple concept such as “inertia” can prove a mystery at deeper levels.

Politics has an inertia that is similarly poorly understood. Mr. Trump was able to build a substantial amount of inertia during last year’s presidential campaign, with little more than bombast and braggadocio. Imagine how much inertia (momentum) he can build from the Oval Office over a span of years.

Television ratings and ticket sales for the NFL have dropped substantially year on year compared to 2016. Late night comics are seeing their ratings plummet. Hillary Clinton is fading into the twilight, still falling down and hurting herself. Left-wing activists across the board are being forced to pursue funding that is no longer coming to them from the federal government, now that Obama is history. And behind the scenes, things are getting done that leftists won’t like.

Posted in Donald Trump, Politics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How California Can Secede from US, and the World

Kim’s Missiles Can Reach California

Real Target is California

With this year’s revelation that North Korea’s nuke-tipped missiles could likely reach the West Coast of United States, a more insidious threat has gained prominence—an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

While not deadly on its own, an EMP attack ruins most electronics in a massive radius and could cripple the power grid, sending [California] back into the 18th century—potentially a death sentence for a large part of the population. __ More

The government in Sacramento is already nudging California into a suicidal death spiral via abysmally stupid and self-immolating energy, immigration, environmental, and fiscal policies. But a “kiss of death” from Dear Leader Kim would likely be the nudge that accelerates the formerly “golden state” into an even deeper crash and burn.

A high-altitude nuclear explosion creates a disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field. Just as electricity is induced in a loop of wire if we move a magnet around it, electric currents also get induced in all electrical circuits with the sudden shift of the planet’s magnetic field. They are called geomagnetically induced currents (GIC). They build up gradually and can last tens of seconds. And again, the longer the wire, the stronger the current. Long power transmission lines are thus especially vulnerable and the GIC disruption can destroy transformers attached to them.

This is actually the main problem. There are some 2,000 extra high voltage (EHV) transformers across the country. If enough of them are damaged, virtually the whole grid shuts down…

… replacing them would take years. The transformers are custom made in Germany and South Korea and it takes 18 months to make one, according to Peter Vincent Pry, former EMP Commission chief of staff.

“With few exceptions, [California’s] electric grid is unhardened and untested against nuclear EMP attack,” the commission’s testimony states. “In the event of a nuclear EMP attack on [California], a widespread protracted blackout is inevitable.”

Most people are not ready for a blackout longer than a few days—not to mention years. Tap water runs thanks to pumps—connected to the power grid; food arrives to stores in trucks that run on diesel pumped by gas stations—connected to the power grid. __ More

Up to 90% of persons in modern societies could die without the critical infrastructures that are built upon a reliable and affordable power grid.

California would, of course, be assisted in the recovery from its travails by the rest of the US — just as it always has been assisted in disasters of one kind or another. But the more of the US that is affected by loss of reliable and affordable electric power, the more people that will die, and the less assistance that will be available.

California Often Shoots Itself in Foot

California’s Wildfires Too Often Caused by Downed Powerlines

High winds — up to hurricane strength — frequently occur across California, from storms and from meteorological phenomena such as “Santa Ana” winds. When such winds impact trees and power lines, lines can be knocked down and transformers can explode. When dry brush, trees, and other natural tinder are allowed to accumulate near such lines the makings of monstrous killer firestorms can be lurking, waiting for the smallest spark.

This has happened often in the past, and once again is happening in California — with massive losses of life and property.

The owner of the power equipment, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, said in a statement Wednesday “hurricane-strength winds in excess of 75 mph,” and “millions of trees weakened by years of drought and recent renewed vegetation growth from winter storms, all contributed to some trees, branches and debris impacting our electric lines across the North Bay.”

… The company, just like all utility companies in California, is required to keep vegetation more than 10 feet away from its power poles and towers, and to remove flammable debris from around the surrounding ground ….

… Utility companies in California have previously been found responsible for major wildfires due to inadequate maintenance of their power infrastructure. __ More

Unfortunately, the government of California impedes the clearance of dry vegetation — both in the vicinity of power lines and across private property in general. Sacramento enforces such disastrous policies in the name of environmentalism, but the end result is larger and more catastrophic wildfires.

In addition, Sacramento’s mandating of a premature and overly rapid adopting of large-scale wind and solar energy schemes has put budgetary pressures on utilities, taking away money and resources that should have been used for line maintenance, in a futile and politically correct quest to implement exorbitantly expensive forms of energy which are incompatible with modern power grids.

These deep holes dug by Sacramento during “normal times” will make it that much more difficult for Californians to survive the coming of extraordinarily abnormal times, such as those which Dear Leader Kim might deliver to the golden state.

California Has Many Ways of Seceding

Parts of California — such as Hollywood — typified by poster boy Harvey Weinstein, have already achieved a secession of sorts. They have created their own imaginary, though dysfunctional, worlds in which to prance about in various degrees of insobriety. California’s universities and much of its coastal strip likewise float in worlds of imaginary sapience, heartbeats from disaster. But even the smallest disaster or disruption can cause such flighty flocks to call on more reality-based outsiders — such as hardened but relatively unsophisticated firefighters and other skilled (mostly) men who work with their hands in very dangerous and difficult situations.

Yes, California may certainly secede if it continues on its path of demographic and political decline. But more dramatic and abrupt methods of extra-political secession — such as might happen secondary to large scale disasters — should always be in the minds of those residents of California who wish to be prepared for whatever may come.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Electrical Power Grid, Government, Green Quagmire | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Can Your Cardboard Boxes Do This?

Things You Can Make With Cardboard

One can build durable houses, boats, bicycles, automobiles and much more, using cardboard. The cheap and common material can be reinforced, waterproofed, and cleverly shaped to make it durable beyond your wildest expectations.

Cardboard Boats

World’s First Cardboard Houseboat
Kevin McCloud on the Thames

How to build the cardboard houseboat:

If you build your cardboard boats properly, they will provide good service on the water long beyond the time most of your friends would expect them to sink. Another example of a durable cardboard boat:

The cardboard kayak above looks impressive out on the water, and has proven surprisingly durable. The builder developed his own techniques during construction, and utilised newspaper and spar varnish to provide a waterproof finish. The inside is painted with a waterproof paint suitable for use on ordinary basement blocks.

Sturdy Cardboard Houses

The cardboard tiny-house above is offered for sale commercially either as a kit or assembled, and was designed to last a century.

But do it yourselfers have proven capable of designing and building cardboard houses without commercial help. An example:

… Dan Clancy of Martinez, California. Clancy—an instructor at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California—got the idea for a pasteboard mini-palace while conducting his popular environmental-biology course, Conservation Lifestyles, in the spring of 1974.

“One day While feeding my rabbits some lettuce that I’d scrounged from the back door of a supermarket,” says Dan, “I noticed that the box given to me by the produce man didn’t fall apart in the rain like ordinary cardboard does. So I thought to myself, ‘Why not build a cabin out of this stuff right here on our little homestead?”‘

… “Standard” framing techniques were used on the Cardboard Cabin … except that, since the structure weighs so little, 2 X 3’s (instead of 2 X 4’s) were used throughout. Also, for the same reason, all wall studs and roof rafters were spaced two feet apart instead of the more usual 18 inches. Window openings are framed in with packing crate 1 X 4’s and the windows themselves are hinged on strips cut from an old tire. __ Cardboard House

Wooden framing was used in the construction, but scaled down significantly due to the light weight of the cardboard sheathing.

Emergency shelters made of cardboard and bamboo were used extensively after the Kobe earthquake in Japan, and although meant only for short-term use, many were still inhabited after ten years. Multiple designers have worked on designs for strong and durable cardboard homeless shelters, and some continue to improve the designs.

Cardboard Bicycle

In 2008, Phil Bridge created a cardboard bicycle as part of a three-year degree course in Product Design at Sheffield Hallam University. It was intended to discourage theft, supports a rider up to 169 pounds (77 kg), and is constructed from a structural cardboard called Hexacomb. It is waterproof, but is only expected to survive six months of constant use. The drivetrain and brakes are metal, as on a conventional bike, and it rolls on standard pneumatic tires. __

A different cardboard bike design was built more robustly to carry even heavier riders:

Weighing around nine kilograms (20 pounds), the cardboard bike is on the light side for an adult-sized bike, which generally weigh somewhere in the region of 14 kg (30 lbs), and it can withstand exposure to water and humidity, while supporting a rider who weighs up to 220 kg (485 lbs). It requires no servicing or adjustment, and the solid tires are made from reused car tires, with a car timing belt serving as a chain. __

Cardboard Furniture

What started as a senior project in Mechanical Engineering has now become a living workshop devoted to cardboard design. You name it and Zach the cardboard man can build it—cardboard sofas, cardboard chaise lounges, cardboard shelves and, yes, even cardboard iPhone docks. I caught up with Zach and talked to him about the motivation behind his wonderfully named brainchild, transience, and classical music. __

Zach has done Ikea one better, and may stand on the verge of a new furniture revolution. Stay tuned.

Cardboard (and Plywood) Car

The panels of the body are made from a plywood-cardboard-plywood composite, with the outer layers obtained from a sustainable source, qualifying them for certification by the British Forestry Commission.

The body is designed to for flat-pack shipping and assembly, allowing for more efficient shipping, which no doubted contributed to the team’s winning of the prize. __

Working Toward a Full Scale Cardboard Airplane

The “Cardboard Condor” above is far from full scale and can not carry a human pilot. But all great goals take time to be realised. Read more about the project.

Beyond the cardboard airplane, the cardboard helicopter swoops across the imagination. And can a cardboard spaceship be far behind? The limits to human achievement exist within the human cranium and can be held only partially in check by the corrupt and clanky large human institutions of today.

Posted in Creativity, Materials | Tagged | 2 Comments

Can Millennials Grow Up Before They Grow Old?

The Millennial Generation are those North Americans who were born between 1984 and 2000. They were always told how special they were, but they were rarely raised or educated in ways that would give them the skills — and develop their talents — so that they actually would be competent and special.

A sense of entitlement is not the only stereotype attached to millennials in the workplace.

“Entitled, lazy, narcissistic and addicted to social media,” according to CNBC. “They Don’t Need Trophies but They Want Reinforcement,” Forbes wrote. “Many millennials want to make the world a better place … ___

Millennials wish to “have an impact” on the world and “make it a better place.” How do they intend to do this? They are not sure, but they feel strongly that whatever they do it will be the right thing, if they lead with their hearts.

Across American society, different sectors of the economy are struggling to discover how to best deal with the millennials who seem to be sprouting up like dandelions. Job supervisors may be flummoxed in dealing with these young sprouts. But then, so are advertisers.

Millennials are not as interested in drills, machine shop workbenches, gardening, and any number of do-it-yourself items as their boomer parents.

… I question the general thesis that millennials have money to spend.

In fact, millennials have delayed marriage, home buying, and household formation precisely because they do not have money to spend.

Far too many millennials are mired in student debt and living with their parents out of necessity. Others feel an obligation to take care of aging parents.

Factor in dramatically different lifestyle preferences with greater importance on mobility rather than ownership, and it should be clear the setup is extremely deflationary, especially with anemic wage growth that does not keep up with inflation. __

A Delayed Maturity
Millennial Infographic

Mired in debt, living with their parents, postponing marriage and family indefinitely — it should be clear that the economic impact of these generally unskilled, undisciplined, often deeply indoctrinated young folks will be deflationary, despite their relatively large numbers. Another clue to the deflationary impact of millennials is their looming college loan debts, high dropout rates, high rates of obtaining “worthless degrees” after wallowing through 6 years of undergraduate classes, and low rates of training in the vital, highly skilled jobs which are crucial to developing and maintaining critical infrastructures.

Millennials are more racially and ethnically diverse than the other adult generations, and a greater share of Millennial households are headed by minorities, who tend to have higher poverty rates. Millennial heads of households are also more likely to be unmarried, which is associated with higher poverty. __ 5 Facts about Millennials

Pew Research on Millennials

Tips for managing these sprouts

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Demographics, Economics | Tagged | 5 Comments

Is Trump Destroying Ratings of NFL, Late Night “Comedy”?

NFL Becomes “Least Liked Sport” in America

Not long ago, American football was the most popular sport in the US by a wide margin. But ever since the NFL went from being an action sport to being a political protest movement, viewership has been plummeting.

The Winston Poll from the Washington-based Winston Group found that the attitude of those fans went from an August rating of 73 percent favorable and 19 percent unfavorable to 42 percent favorable and 47 percent unfavorable, a remarkable turn against the sport…

… Worse for football, which was already seeing lower TV ratings and empty stadium seats, the month of protests and complaints about them from President Trump drove core fans, men 34-54, away, the most significant indicator that NFL brass aren’t in touch with their base. __ Trump Kicks NFL to New Lows

Trump Just Smiles

Why Nobody Watches Late Night “Comedy” Anymore

In the days of Johnny Carson, late night shows were once funny and entertaining. But that hasn’t been the case since Jay Leno left the stage for younger, more ideologically-bound talking heads. And besides being tiresomely political, they simply have nothing meaningful to say for anyone living outside of their echo choir.

While America was laughing at Twitter and watching YouTube videos, late night was slipping. Writing in the Transom, Ben Domenech of The Federalist points out that the late-night viewership of ABC, CBS, plus NBC this week barely broke 8 million viewers. Not long ago retired NBC funnyman Jay Leno was bringing in 6 million viewers all on his own. __

These late night hypocrites ignore any hint of scandal reflecting badly on their leftist crusade for mediocrity and decline, at the same time that they purposely misrepresent and exaggerate any misstatement or inadvertent stumble by their political enemies. These political dogmatists are about as funny as an ISIS massacre of innocent civilians.

Committing “Suicide by Trump”

These increasingly distasteful and over-rated institutions dominated by the leftist American ruling classes are following the same road as did the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign over a year ago, when it encouraged Democratic Party voters to register as Republicans so that they could vote for Trump in key primary elections. Clinton’s campaign so was certain that it could defeat Trump in any general election, that they wagered everything on helping to make sure that Trump was the Republican nominee.

The American press was complicit in this little gambit, and generally played softball with Trump right up until he became the Republican Party nominee. Then they pulled out all the little scandals they had been holding in their hidden portfolios, and played the usual crescendo of dirty tricks leading up to the election.

But both the Clinton campaign and the biased national press were shocked and mortified to discover that their little gambit blew up in their faces late on election night. And the world has not been the same since.

Leftist Institutions Set Themselves Up for Trouble

It is not only the NFL, late-night comics, the Clinton campaign, and the US national media that underestimated Trump — and continue doing so. Underhanded leftist institutions from the universities to the foundations to Silicon Valley and China-enthralled corporations such as Apple and Ford, are slowly discovering that making unwarranted assumptions about the new US President can have unfortunate consequences for them.

The crusading and parasitic left has been sucking the life and blood out of the US population and the US economy for almost 30 years, and is understandably reluctant to give up on its rich and easy pickings. Trump is an imperfect reformer with many deep faults, but he sees much more clearly than his enemies can allow themselves to believe. That misreading on their part can come back to haunt them.

Interesting links, reposted:

Posted in Groupthink, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Who is Celebrating the Mass Killing in Las Vegas?

The irrationality of calls for more gun control
Leftist hatred for the idea of America
FBI expands its net of leads
Vacuous thinking of US Democrats

Dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured by a long-range full-auto sniper attack in Las Vegas. All the deaths, maimings, and woundings are tragic.

But some ordinary people are actually celebrating these deaths, and wishing there were far more. Who are these reprehensible people?

Celebrating Bloodshed


This from an Attorney Who Was Working for CBS News When She Wrote This

CBS Lawyer Hayley Geftman-Gold

CBS Lawyer Expresses Hatred

Twitter goes ugly

Kurt Schlichter commentary on Las Vegas twitter madness

Another look at the flood of twitter hatred

The articles linked expose only a small measure of the vicious hatred being expressed by ordinary members of the political left against their fellow citizens on a daily basis. It is a bad idea to steep oneself in hatred in this manner, for the sake of one’s own mental health. But expressing this homicidal hatred on twitter or facebook — public forums — can be a bad idea, even in today’s milieu of widespread Trump hysteria. CBS Attorney Geftman-Gold, for example, was reported to have been fired by CBS after the CBS executive’s expressions of hatred achieved widespread attention.

Who Could Have Killed All Those People?

Consider the hatred expressed by the tweeters above. The same levels of hatred toward people who might have voted for Donald Trump are prevalent in trendy locations on both coasts of the US — from Berkeley to Boston to Manhattan to Seattle to Portland/Portland. You see it on late night comedy television and you see it in the bias of news organisations such as CBS, CNN, NBC, and ABC. You even see it on sports network ESPN. In other words, thanks to its media elites, America is soaking in left-wing hatred toward main street America.

So who might have been so filled with hate as to kill all those people, then kill himself? It might be instructive to pay attention to the aftermath of this tragedy long enough to find out.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood ©.


These ultra-wealthy groups are helping to finance the next US civil war. They sponsor a deepening of racial and philosophical divides which pollute public discourse and often lead to violence on the streets and on campuses. Keep them in your thoughts.

One reptile keeps showing up under almost every rock upturned: Slithering

Posted in Crime, Draining the Swamp, Groupthink | Tagged | 4 Comments

The Lithium Calamity: Poison Mountain, Green Idiocracy

Who Wants to Follow China’s Long Toxic Walk?

China has long been famous for its poisoned air, toxic rivers, and deadly soil. Now the aging dragon faces a new toxic calamity: a looming mountain of poisoned and unusable lithium batteries from electric vehicles.

Coming Poison Tsunami

These EV Batteries are Only Good for 5 Years

China is moving to force its rapidly aging population to buy electric vehicles (EVs), even though these batteries become unusable after 5 years and disposing of this looming mountain of toxicity is beyond China’s current infrastructure.

This month, China [said] that it would eventually phase out sales of all fossil-fuel cars.

… The average lifespan of a lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery, the dominant type in China’s electric vehicles, is around five years, according to Li Changdong, chairman of the Hunan-based Brunp group, China’s top electric car battery recycler in 2016 (link in Chinese).

… China’s not the only one facing a recycling headache. In the European Union, only 5% (pdf) of lithium-ion batteries, another common type of battery power used in electric vehicles are recycled, according to data from non-governmental environment advocacy group Friends of the Earth Europe, which pointed out that “most of the current lithium is either dumped in landfill or incinerated.” ___

Lithium batteries produce toxic gases, and too often catch fire.

“Nowadays, lithium-ion batteries are being actively promoted by many governments all over the world as a viable energy solution to power everything from electric vehicles to mobile devices. The lithium-ion battery is used by millions of families, so it is imperative that the general public understand the risks behind this energy source,” explained Dr Jie Sun, lead author on the study. __

Not Just China’s Problem

As noted by the articles above, Europe and parts of the Anglosphere will soon have to face looming toxic mountains of their own green Idiocracy. And by all indications, EU nations intend to double down on stupid green, and develop their toxic storage and EV infrastructure at a near-exponential rate.

Exponential Growth in Lithium Storage

Toxic Lithium Mountain Meant to Solve Nonexistent Problem

Without considering the need or counting the consequences, green idiocracies have chosen badly. The black shadow cast by the emerging mountain of discarded lithium batteries is beginning to darken the futures of more and more developing and emerging nations. And for what? To make a handful of politically connected billionaires even wealthier, and to make the masses of unthinking green acolytes feel even more self-righteous.

The mountains of worthless lithium wastes belong with the vast landscapes of rapidly obsolescing wind turbines and solar arrays, which have been forced upon well-meaning populations by their corrupt and ideologically bent governments and toxic green corporate cultures. None of it is justified, and all of it will take a huge chunk out of the time and resources which humanity could otherwise put toward building an abundant and expansive human future.

Reliable and affordable electric power and transportation energy are key aspects of a modern society’s critical infrastructure. If that infrastructure is built on faulty and toxic foundations, a lot of people will die.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .


As for China, it was already sinking into a quagmire of debt. In no way can it deal with the lithium calamity in a timely or effective manner, given its demographic and economic trends.

In 2015-16, the IMF estimates, it took 20 trillion renminbi of new credit to raise nominal GDP by just 5 trillion renminbi.


Graphic look at China’s debt problem

Bad debt in China is approaching $1 trillion, and will only get larger along with the overall great debt mountain of China. Even worse, state owned enterprises borrow more and more just to pay interest on previous loans, which only kicks the default can down the road and makes the final reckoning even worse. This will not end well, as a study of 43 previous large credit booms around the world has shown.

… if too much of [China’s] debt is bad there is increased risk of an economic crises that would halt economic growth and take years to fix. The government has made this worse by allowing economic data reporting to be “adjusted” to suit the needs of local (provincial) officials. That was bad enough (and is now being fixed) but during several decades of rapid economic growth this flawed data allowed the state owned banks (which still dominate the economy) to lend too much money. Thus debt in China keeps rising. It went from 254 percent of GDP (nearly three times what it was before 2008) in 2015 to 277 percent in 2016 and unless the government can develop some solutions it will be over 300 percent by the end of the decade. What makes this pile of debt trap so toxic is that, much, if not most of this debt consists of loans that the borrower cannot repay, or not repay in a timely fashion. ___ Source

California doubles down on stupid

Electric Vehicle Makers Lose Big Money

GM … loses about $9,000 on every Chevrolet Bolt electric car it sells. Tesla had record sales of its EVs last year — and still lost $675 million on $7 billion in sales. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV loses $20,000 on every electric version of its 500-model subcompact sold in the U.S., Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in a speech in Italy on Monday. Battery-powered models should be marketed based on consumer demand and not depend on incentives, he said. __

Government idiocy drives this toxic economic disaster.

We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines! 😉

Posted in China, Energy, Environment, Green Quagmire, Groupthink, Poison | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Zeihan: The US Shale Patch Has Not Drilled a Dry Well in 3 Years!

No dry wells for the last 3 years and no low-productivity well for the last 2 years. The reason for this long string of good luck in the US shale oil patch — according to Austin-based geopolitical analyst Peter Zeihan — is the combination of real-time 3D seismic imaging from within the well itself, with rapidly advancing drilling technology that allows drillers to move the drill along precise lines within oil deposits at multiple levels.

Breakeven costs for new wells continue to drop, bringing more and more oil within economic reach. This is an opposite reality from what the doomers of peak oil have been preaching about shale oil for the past ten years. To the doomers, the collapse of oil production — including shale oil production — is always “right around the corner.”

Notice that US shale is profitable at $50 bbl
Image Source

Remember that in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico alone, there is as much as 2 trillion barrels of economically recoverable oil reserves. As the technologies of oil discovery, production, and recovery improve, more oil comes within reach.

In fact, shale oil production in North America seems to be preventing global oil prices from jumping to the higher quantum levels that oil dictatorships such as Iran, Venezuela, and Russia desperately need to run their countries. Remember, financial breakeven of oil production is entirely distinct from fiscal breakeven for countries who run their budgets on oil & gas receipts.

Companies with US shale assets are likely to be at a competitive advantage over the next few years. Producers that rely on oilfields in higher-cost regions such as the North Sea and the deep waters off west Africa will have to cut costs or face shrinking output.

After the oil price plunge that began two years ago, production costs have been cut across the industry, but far more so in US shale.

Average costs per barrel have dropped by 30 to 40 per cent for US shale wells, but just 10 to 12 per cent for other oil projects, said Simon Flowers of Wood Mackenzie.
Why US shale is becoming the low-cost option. (behind a subscription paywall)

The video above also contains Zeihan’s updated geopolitical and global demographic outlooks. If you have been following Zeihan’s arguments, the video above is from his most recent video available (14 Sept 2017).

Peter Zeihan’s books — The Accidental Superpower, and The Absent Superpower, are both recommended for anyone wanting a well-rounded perspective of important global geopolitical and demographic trends.

A Few of the Known US Shale Deposits

No one knows the full extent of US shale oil & gas. But if there are 2 trillion bbls of economically recoverable oil in the Permian Basin alone, and if the US continues to export oil, petroleum products, and liquefied natural gas — the economics and geopolitics of the global energy markets have been turned topsy turvy. And that is something that the bloody dictatorships of Eurasia and MENA won’t like.

Posted in Oil Prices, Peter Zeihan, Shale Oil & Gas Revolution | Tagged ,

How to Win the War on Drugs

Drug Deaths per Million by Nation
Image Source

The Drug War is Deadly

Anyone who has watched the television shows “Breaking Bad” or “Narcos” — or movies such as Traffic — will have an inkling of both the allure of the drug trade and some of its many vicious and unpleasant consequences.

Much of the violence that plagues the streets of cities from Detroit to Paris to Lagos is associated with the drug trade. A large proportion of property crimes such as theft arise due to the need of an addict to acquire his substance of abuse. Large numbers of girls are held in prostitution by their willing and unwilling addictions to chemical substances. Drug trafficking and human trafficking share many of the same smuggling routes and smuggling personnel.

The Drug War Cannot be “Won” as it is Fought Now

For several decades, government agents of more advanced nations have engaged in a multi-faceted “war” against the production, import, and distribution of illegal drugs of abuse. In all of that time, the only policies that seem to have long term impacts — in terms of harm reduction — are policies of drug liberalization. Portugal is a nation often held up as an example of harm reduction using this approach.

But “drug liberalization” is not actually a true winning of the drug war so much as a scaling down to a near armistice with users and small dealers. Drug producers, smugglers, distributors, and larger dealers are still being hunted and prosecuted. It is still a war, even in Portugal.

Actually Winning the War Will Require Higher Level Thought

Higher level thought is not generally a purview of governing bodies. Governments and their agents typically react to what happens, rather than creating the conditions that divert resources away from bad actors at all levels. And that is why governments get so little respect — especially from those who work for them or who live off government contracts.

One of the reasons for the clusterfuck nature of governments is that it is the bad actors themselves who help finance many of the candidates who eventually reach public office, or who are hired into various agencies of government, academia, foundations, and media. As long as the bad actors grow wealthy from bad government policies, then turn around and pack government and other public institutions with their own people, bad situations are just likely to grow worse. And that includes the drug war.

The Concept of “Good Crime” and “Good Criminals”

In order to “win” the war on drugs, it will be necessary to clean up this cesspool. But nothing seems to work. Is it possible that the only way to clean up the cesspool of these inbred and dysfunctional monstrous institutions, is to create a new breed of “good crime,” and “good criminals?” Not as a first resort, no. Not even as a second, third, or fourth resort.

Instead, it is important to use the blunt tools available within the law, the legal systems, governments, and other institutions of society, to perform an initial “de-bulking” of the purulent tumour. This process should undergo multiple iterations and improvements, as the entrenched institutions and kingpins of corruption seek to block each wave of change.

But there are interstitial places within the matrix for the use of “civil disobedience” and surgically precise actions which fall into gray areas of interpretation. And there are far more of these gray areas than one might think. It is important to map them out and to assemble a large number of coordinated potential actions to meet a wide range of contingencies and counter-actions.

Fighting Fire with Fire

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent,” as Isaac Asimov’s characters often said. In other words, foolish and low-level thinking tends to land one in corners where he must fight his way out. We should not be so stupid.

Rather than fighting a war that only expands opportunities for vicious criminals to grow ever wealthier, a smart society would give its citizens better options. As citizens choose these better options, would-be drug lords find themselves thrown back into lives of petty crime — rats fighting among other rats in the back alleys.

What might these “better options” be? You know, I find it very strange that this has not been the question that people have been asking themselves for the last 50 years or more. More, I find it strange that instead of trying a wide range of these “better options,” society has chosen to fight a drug war that has led to more and more gang and cartel violence, the need for ever larger and more costly prisons, and the degeneration large parts of cities across the developed world.

How might one “fight fire with fire?” By giving people something that is both good for them and preferable in their own eyes to the degraded life offered to them by the abuse of cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, and other drugs. Alcohol abuse, by the way, is one of the worst problems of modern societies around the world. The same approach to fighting illicit drugs should be used to fight the abuse of legal drugs and prescription drugs.

The Cure Should be in the Hands of Ordinary People, Not Doctors

Better options should include things that persons can grow in their own flower box or garden, or build in their own small workshop. They should not have to expend their life savings for an over-rated rehab center or detox scam.

Besides those who were pushed into drug addiction by peers or criminals, most abusers of drugs are merely seeking something to help them to get through their days with less pain, or something to give them a sense of purpose — even if it is hunting down their next fix.

Life for many or most of these people, as it is, does not seem worth living. They feel that they must have something extra, even if it eventually kills them. If “better options” for providing the something extra are put within their capacity to provide for themselves — options that will allow them to continue to function within normal or even superior levels — the criminal infrastructure that depended upon their monetary contributions will begin to dry up.

Finding these “better options” should be one of the top priorities of spending by foundations and other research granting agencies. Shining a light on the search for “better options” should be one of the top priorities of media outlets. Helping to put these better options into the hands of ordinary people should be a top priority for religious groups, charitable organizations, and volunteer agencies.

We cannot solve the problems of today or tomorrow by doubling down on the failed thinking of yesterday, which created these problems in the first place.

Drug liberalization should be thought of as the first step of a 100 step approach to reversing this accelerated decline of cities and landscapes.

More information on the European drug problem in 2017

US opioid “crisis” misdiagnosed

Posted in Crime | Tagged | 6 Comments

National Fellatio League Prizes its Kneepads

62% of NFL fans intend to cut down

The NFL appears confused as to its actual role in the great scheme of things. And if this grand confusion spreads to college football and other sports, we are likely to see the poverty spread from the sports entertainment industry to many “higher educational institutions” — who depend upon income from football and basketball games to fund other parts of the university.

Whimpers from the Pittsburgh Kneelers to the Las Vegas Dealers are making NFL teams look like whining nellies. These overgrown wife-beating crybabies are protesting violence against blacks in America. But who is committing violence against blacks?

Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks. In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The Post categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed.” That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest. Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers—committed vastly and disproportionately by black males. Among all homicide suspects whose race was known, white killers of blacks numbered only 243. __

On Your Knees, Whining Bitches!
National Fellatio League Losing its Admirers

When the Pittsburgh Kneelers came out of the locker room, their fans booed them!

The “Kneelers” were actually breaking official NFL rules, making themselves subject to punishment.

Under the league rule, the failure to be on the field for the anthem may result in discipline such as a fine, suspension or loss of a draft pick. But a league official said the key phrase is “may” result, adding he won’t speculate on whether the Steelers would be disciplined. __

One Steeler stood tall and proud

Multi-millionaire Athletes’ Posturing Backfires

Television ratings and paid attendance to NFL games have been falling for a few years. But this year the NFL seems to be rushing to a full collapse. From ESPN to the NFL commissioner to team owners to the (mostly) barely literate players themselves, the entire league appears eager to whine itself into a deep pit of triviality and insignificance. And that spells relative p-o-v-e-r-t-y in more ways than one — most likely for an extended period of time.

The orchestrated display of ultra-feminine sensitivity displayed by grown football players is likely to achieve consequences diabolically opposite — not to mention diametrically opposite — to what the behind the scenes organizers intended. Ultimately, the people who provide the money for the ascendance of these affluent sports stars, their filthy rich teams, and the vast and corrupt sports entertainment structure, will only take so much abuse and disrespect for their values. Atlas can shrug, and the whining parasites can fall a long way.


What they’re protesting? Um, that’s a good one. Aside from a general “America bad” and “Trump bad” this isn’t particularly clear. And the usual suspects in the media cheer their “courage”.

And the result of this? People are attending fewer games. Fewer people are tuning in on television. And fewer people are buying less NFL merchandise (with some notable exceptions which I’ll get to). ___

NFL on its death bed

The NFL is an addiction. Time to cut back, addicts.

In other news, the spirit of Black Lives Matter shows a more honest face. A woman going to church is shot in the back, then turned over and shot in the face.

Bench the NFL
NFL ratings drop along with revenues from ads and sales
The great lie behind the protests
Fan fatigue sets in with a passion
NFL is doomed
After knocking NFL down, has Trump already moved on?

Posted in Blacks and crime, Groupthink | Tagged | 1 Comment

Putin Asks “How Long Until They Eat Us?”

The New Look of the Human Apocalypse

May I Do Your Cleaning Now, Master?

Vladimir Putin: “How Long Until They Eat Us?”

Vladimir Putin has expressed his fears over artificial intelligence by asking Russia’s largest technology firm how long it will be until smart robots ‘eat us’.

__ Source

Putin is not the only one who is worried that intelligent robots will eventually devour human beings and destroy human culture, in one way or another.

An Already Dying Japan is Exposing Itself to Ever More Techno-Sex

She’s always there, always listening, ready to cater to her husband’s every whim. Meet Azuma Hikari, Japan’s digital “wife of the future,” according to her inventor, Minori Takechi, who believes his AI construct can go some way toward solving Japan’s problem with loneliness. __ An Accelerated Extinction

There is nothing wrong with techno-sex as long as it does not keep people from procreating and training ever new generations into the future. But the Japanese appear to be using techno-sex as a substitute for real sex and procreation. And that is turning into a fatal choice of extinction for the island nation.

Russia is in a similar situation, only slightly behind Japan on the death curve.

Intelligent Sexbots a Growing Industry

From Japan to California, to the UK to Barcelona, intelligent sex robots are being designed and built for the increasingly alienated young males of the world. The end result of this trend will likely be lower rates of sex and marriage, and lower birth rates in the very populations which already suffer below-replacement birth rates.

Read about the new talking sex robot, Samantha, for example. While the state of the art in intelligent sexbots is still quite primitive, inventors around the world such as Sergi Santos believe that the demand is there to reward the first successful builder of intelligent and responsive sexbots.

In his home workshop on the hilly outskirts of Barcelona, Spanish scientist Dr Sergi Santos marvels at his proudest creation – a talking sex robot companion called Samantha. __

Matt McMullen’s RealDolls

Moral of the Story: Don’t Date Robots

Futurama – Don't date robots from John Pope on Vimeo.

At least, we mean to say, don’t date robots exclusively — if you want your people to survive and have a future.

More Reasons Russians Shouldn’t Date Robots

Note that the sources in the excerpts below are Russian-language websites. Utilise website translators whenever necessary to access these sources.

Every fifth Russian now uses one or another illegal drug, and as a result, Russia itself has become Europe’s “hub” for the drug trade ( The number of abortions in Russia fell last year to 648,000 but that number is still half of the number of live births there and represents a national rate five times that of the European average (

Chemical and even radiological contamination is a problem ( and Demographic losses mean that Moscow is going to have to force more women and especially women pensioners work by 2030 in order to maintain the size of the labor force ( __ More at Windowoneurasia2

News out of Russia is highly laundered and filtered by Russian media, and strangely also highly slanted by international media, to ignore the problems at the rotten core of Russian society — the heart of extinction.

The population of ethnic Russians is already too small to maintain and defend the massive land area claimed by Russia. As that core population shrinks in ever accelerating fashion (behind the curtain of censorship and denial), the problem for Russia will reach the critical point of no return — just like Japan.

It has never been more important to save as many young Russian girls and women as now. Western men have become badgered and discriminated against to the point that more are resorting to artificial techno-sex, in a trend that grows to match the increasing sophistication of sexbots and virtual reality sex. The liberation of young Russian females may be the last hope to save western civilisation! 😉

BTW, President Putin does not need to worry about Russia being eaten by reliable hi-tech anytime soon. At least not by Russian-built hi-tech. Chinese hi-tech is a different matter.

Posted in Demographics, Future, Robots, Russia, Russian Decline, satire, Sex | Tagged , | 2 Comments

100% Intermittent Energy: Can it Work?

The extensively documented article below is excerpted from an article originally published in Low Tech Magazine

How (Not) to Run a Modern Society on Solar and Wind Power Alone

… [A] renewable power grid needs an oversized power generation and transmission capacity of up to ten times the peak demand. It also requires a balancing capacity of fossil fuel power plants, or its equivalent in energy storage… Consequently, matching supply to demand at all times makes renewable power production a complex, slow, expensive and unsustainable undertaking

100% Renewable Energy

It is widely believed that in the future, renewable energy production will allow modern societies to become independent from fossil fuels, with wind and solar energy having the largest potential. An oft-stated fact is that there’s enough wind and solar power available to meet the energy needs of modern civilisation many times over.

For instance, in Europe, the practical wind energy potential for electricity production on- and off-shore is estimated to be at least 30,000 TWh per year, or ten times the annual electricity demand. [1] In the USA, the technical solar power potential is estimated to be 400,000 TWh, or 100 times the annual electricity demand. [2]

Such statements, although theoretically correct, are highly problematic in practice. This is because they are based on annual averages of renewable energy production, and do not address the highly variable and uncertain character of wind and solar energy.

Annual averages of renewable energy production do not address the highly variable and uncertain character of wind and solar energy

Demand and supply of electricity need to be matched at all times, which is relatively easy to achieve with power plants that can be turned on and off at will. However, the output of wind turbines and solar panels is totally dependent on the whims of the weather.

Therefore, to find out if and how we can run a modern society on solar and wind power alone, we need to compare time-synchronised electricity demand with time-synchronised solar or wind power availability. [3][4] [5] In doing so, it becomes clear that supply correlates poorly with demand.

The intermittency of solar en wind energy compared to demand

Above: a visualisation of 30 days of superimposed power demand time series data (red), wind energy generation data (blue), and solar insolation data (yellow). Average values are in colour-highlighted black lines. Data obtained from Bonneville Power Administration, April 2010. Source: [21]

The Intermittency of Solar Energy

Solar power is characterised by both predictable and unpredictable variations. There is a predictable diurnal and seasonal pattern, where peak output occurs in the middle of the day and in the summer, depending on the apparent motion of the sun in the sky. [6] [7]

When the sun is lower in the sky, its rays have to travel through a larger air mass, which reduces their strength because they are absorbed by particles in the atmosphere. The sun’s rays are also spread out over a larger horizontal surface, decreasing the energy transfer per unit of horizontal surface area.

When the sun is 60° above the horizon, the sun’s intensity is still 87% of its maximum when it reaches a horizontal surface. However, at lower angles, the sun’s intensity quickly decreases. At a solar angle of 15°, the radiation that strikes a horizontal surface is only 25% of its maximum.

On a seasonal scale, the solar elevation angle also correlates with the number of daylight hours, which reduces the amount of solar energy received over the course of a day at times of the year when the sun is already lower in the sky. And, last but not least, there’s no solar energy available at night.

Cloud map

Image: Average cloud cover 2002 – 2015. Source: NASA.

Likewise, the presence of clouds adds unpredictable variations to the solar energy supply. Clouds scatter and absorb solar radiation, reducing the amount of insolation that reaches the ground below. Solar output is roughly 80% of its maximum with a light cloud cover, but only 15% of its maximum on a heavy overcast day. [8][9][10]

Due to a lack of thermal or mechanical inertia in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, the changes due to clouds can be dramatic. For example, under fluctuating cloud cover, the output of multi-megawatt PV power plants in the Southwest USA was reported to have variations of roughly 50% in a 30 to 90 second timeframe and around 70% in a timeframe of 5 to 10 minutes. [6]

In London, a solar panel produces 65 times less energy on a heavy overcast day in December at 10 am than on a sunny day in June at noon.

The combination of these predictable and unpredictable variations in solar power makes it clear that the output of a solar power plant can vary enormously throughout time. In Phoenix, Arizona, the sunniest place in the USA, a solar panel produces on average 2.7 times less energy in December than in June. Comparing a sunny day at midday in June with a heavy overcast day at 10 am in December, the difference in solar output is almost twentyfold. [11]

In London, UK, which is a moderately suitable location for solar power, a solar panel produces on average 10 times less energy in December than in June. Comparing a sunny day in June at noon with a heavy overcast day in December at 10 am, the solar output differs by a factor of 65. [8][9]

The Intermittency of Wind Energy

Compared to solar energy, the variability of the wind is even more volatile. On the one hand, wind energy can be harvested both day and night, while on the other hand, it’s less predictable and less reliable than solar energy. During daylight hours, there’s always a minimum amount of solar power available, but this is not the case for wind, which can be absent or too weak for days or even weeks at a time. There can also be too much wind, and wind turbines then have to be shut down in order to avoid damage.

On average throughout the year, and depending on location, modern wind farms produce 10-45% of their rated maximum power capacity, roughly double the annual capacity factor of the average solar PV installation (5-30%). [6] [12][13][14] In practice, however, wind turbines can operate between 0 and 100% of their maximum power at any moment.

Hourly wind power output on 29 different days in april 2005 at a wind plant in california

Hourly wind power output on 29 different days in april 2005 at a wind plant in california. Source: [6]

For many locations, only average wind speed data is available. However, the chart above shows the daily and hourly wind power output on 29 different days at a wind farm in California. At any given hour of the day and any given day of the month, wind power production can vary between zero and 600 megawatt, which is the maximum power production of the wind farm. [6]

Even relatively small changes in wind speed have a large effect on wind power production: if the wind speed decreases by half, power production decreases by a factor of eight. [15] Wind resources also vary throughout the years. Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark show a wind speed inter-annual variability of up to 30%. [1] Yearly differences in solar power can also be significant. [16] [17]

How to Match Supply with Demand?

To some extent, wind and solar energy can compensate for each other. For example, wind is usually twice as strong during the winter months, when there is less sun. [18] However, this concerns average values again. At any particular moment of the year, wind and solar energy may be weak or absent simultaneously, leaving us with little or no electricity at all.

Electricity demand also varies throughout the day and the seasons, but these changes are more predictable and much less extreme. Demand peaks in the morning and in the evening, and is at its lowest during the night. However, even at night, electricity use is still close to 60% of the maximum.

At any particular moment of the year, wind and solar energy may be weak or absent simultaneously, leaving us with little or no electricity at all.

Consequently, if renewable power capacity is calculated based on the annual averages of solar and wind energy production and in tune with the average power demand, there would be huge electricity shortages for most of the time. To ensure that electricity supply always meets electricity demand, additional measures need to be taken.

First, we could count on a backup infrastructure of dispatchable fossil fuel power plants to supply electricity when there’s not enough renewable energy available. Second, we could oversize the renewable generation capacity, adjusting it to the worst case scenario. Third, we could connect geographically dispersed renewable energy sources to smooth out variations in power production. Fourth, we could store surplus electricity for use in times when solar and/or wind resources are low or absent.

As we shall see, all of these strategies are self-defeating on a large enough scale, even when they’re combined. If the energy used for building and maintaining the extra infrastructure is accounted for in a life cycle analysis of a renewable power grid, it would be just as CO2-intensive as the present-day power grid.

Strategy 1: Backup Power Plants

Up to now, the relatively small share of renewable power sources added to the grid has been balanced by dispatchable forms of electricity, mainly rapidly deployable gas power plants. Although this approach completely “solves” the problem of intermittency, it results in a paradox because the whole point of switching to renewable energy is to become independent of fossil fuels, including gas. [19]

Most scientific research focuses on Europe, which has the most ambitious plans for renewable power. For a power grid based on 100% solar and wind power, with no energy storage and assuming interconnection at the national European level only, the balancing capacity of fossil fuel power plants needs to be just as large as peak electricity demand. [12] In other words, there would be just as many non-renewable power plants as there are today.

Power plant capacity united states

Every power plant in the USA. Visualisation by The Washington Post.

Such a hybrid infrastructure would lower the use of carbon fuels for the generation of electricity, because renewable energy can replace them if there is sufficient sun or wind available. However, lots of energy and materials need to be invested into what is essentially a double infrastructure. The energy that’s saved on fuel is spent on the manufacturing, installation and interconnection of millions of solar panels and wind turbines.

Although the balancing of renewable power sources with fossil fuels is widely regarded as a temporary fix that’s not suited for larger shares of renewable energy, most other technological strategies (described below) can only partially reduce the need for balancing capacity.

Strategy 2: Oversizing Renewable Power Production

Another way to avoid energy shortages is to install more solar panels and wind turbines. If solar power capacity is tailored to match demand during even the shortest and darkest winter days, and wind power capacity is matched to the lowest wind speeds, the risk of electricity shortages could be reduced significantly. However, the obvious disadvantage of this approach is an oversupply of renewable energy for most of the year.

During periods of oversupply, the energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines is curtailed in order to avoid grid overloading. Problematically, curtailment has a detrimental effect on the sustainability of a renewable power grid. It reduces the electricity that a solar panel or wind turbine produces over its lifetime, while the energy required to manufacture, install, connect and maintain it remains the same. Consequently, the capacity factor and the energy returned for the energy invested in wind turbines and solar panels decrease. [20]

Installing more solar panels and wind turbines reduces the risk of shortages, but it produces an oversupply of electricity for most of the year.

Curtailment rates increase spectacularly as wind and solar comprise a larger fraction of the generation mix, because the overproduction’s dependence on the share of renewables is exponential. Scientists calculated that a European grid comprised of 60% solar and wind power would require a generation capacity that’s double the peak load, resulting in 300 TWh of excess electricity every year (roughly 10% of the current annual electricity consumption in Europe).

In the case of a grid with 80% renewables, the generation capacity needs to be six times larger than the peak load, while the excess electricity would be equal to 60% of the EU’s current annual electricity consumption. Lastly, in a grid with 100% renewable power production, the generation capacity would need to be ten times larger than the peak load, and excess electricity would surpass the EU annual electricity consumption. [21] [22] [23]

This means that up to ten times more solar panels and wind turbines need to be manufactured. The energy that’s needed to create this infrastructure would make the switch to renewable energy self-defeating, because the energy payback times of solar panels and wind turbines would increase six- or ten-fold.

For solar panels, the energy payback would only occur in 12-24 years in a power grid with 80% renewables, and in 20-40 years in a power grid with 100% renewables. Because the life expectancy of a solar panel is roughly 30 years, a solar panel may never produce the energy that was needed to manufacture it. Wind turbines would remain net energy producers because they have shorter energy payback times, but their advantage compared to fossil fuels would decrease. [24]

Strategy 3: Supergrids

The variability of solar and wind power can also be reduced by interconnecting renewable power plants over a wider geographical region. For example, electricity can be overproduced where the wind is blowing but transmitted to meet demand in becalmed locations. [19]

Interconnection also allows the combination of technologies that utilise different variable power resources, such as wave and tidal energy. [3] Furthermore, connecting power grids over large geographical areas allows a wider sharing of backup fossil fuel power plants.

Wind map europe saturday september 2 2017 23h48

Wind map of Europe, September 2, 2017, 23h48. Source: Windy.

Although today’s power systems in Europe and the USA stretch out over a large enough area, these grids are currently not strong enough to allow interconnection of renewable energy sources. This can be solved with a powerful overlay high-voltage DC transmission grid. Such “supergrids” form the core of many ambitious plans for 100% renewable power production, especially in Europe. [25] The problem with this strategy is that transmission capacity needs to be overbuilt, over very long distances. [19]

For a European grid with a share of 60% renewable power (an optimal mix of wind and solar), grid capacity would need to be increased at least sevenfold. If individual European countries would disregard national concerns about security of supply, and backup balancing capacity would be optimally distributed throughout the continent, the necessary grid capacity extensions can be limited to about triple the existing European high-voltage grid. For a European power grid with a share of 100% renewables, grid capacity would need to be up to twelve times larger than it is today. [21] [26][27]

Even in the UK, which has one of the best renewable energy sources in the world, combining wind, sun, wave and tidal power would still generate electricity shortages for 65 days per year.

The problems with such grid extensions are threefold. Firstly, building infrastructure such as transmission towers and their foundations, power lines, substations, and so on, requires a significant amount of energy and other resources. This will need to be taken into account when making a life cycle analysis of a renewable power grid. As with oversizing renewable power generation, most of the oversized transmission infrastructure will not be used for most of the time, driving down the transmission capacity factor substantially.

Secondly, a supergrid involves transmission losses, which means that more wind turbines and solar panels will need to be installed to compensate for this loss. Thirdly, the acceptance of and building process for new transmission lines can take up to ten years. [20][25] This is not just bureaucratic hassle: transmission lines have a high impact on the land and often face local opposition, which makes them one of the main obstacles for the growth of renewable power production.

Even with a supergrid, low power days remain a possibility over areas as large as Europe. With a share of 100% renewable energy sources and 12 times the current grid capacity, the balancing capacity of fossil fuel power plants can be reduced to 15% of the total annual electricity consumption, which represents the maximum possible benefit of transmission for Europe. [28]

Even in the UK, which has one of the best renewable energy sources in the world, interconnecting wind, sun, wave and tidal power would still generate electricity shortages for 18% of the time (roughly 65 days per year). [29] [30][31]

Strategy 4: Energy Storage

A final strategy to match supply to demand is to store an oversupply of electricity for use when there is not enough renewable energy available. Energy storage avoids curtailment and it’s the only supply-side strategy that can make a balancing capacity of fossil fuel plants redundant, at least in theory. In practice, the storage of renewable energy runs into several problems.

First of all, while there’s no need to build and maintain a backup infrastructure of fossil fuel power plants, this advantage is negated by the need to build and maintain an energy storage infrastructure. Second, all storage technologies have charging and discharging losses, which results in the need for extra solar panels and wind turbines to compensate for this loss.

Wind map usa

Live wind map of the USA.

The energy required to build and maintain the storage infrastructure and the extra renewable power plants need to be taken into account when conducting a life cycle analysis of a renewable power grid. In fact, research has shown that it can be more energy efficient to curtail renewable power from wind turbines than to store it, because the energy needed to manufacture storage and operate it (which involves charge-discharge losses) surpasses the energy that is lost through curtailment. [23]

If we count on electric cars to store the surplus of renewable electricity, their batteries would need to be 60 times larger than they are today

It has been calculated that for a European power grid with 100% renewable power plants (670 GW wind power capacity and 810 GW solar power capacity) and no balancing capacity, the energy storage capacity needs to be 1.5 times the average monthly load and amounts to 400 TWh, not including charging and discharging losses. [32] [33] [34]

To give an idea of what this means: the most optimistic estimation of Europe’s total potential for pumped hydro-power energy storage is 80 TWh [35], while converting all 250 million passenger cars in Europe to electric drives with a 30 kWh battery would result in a total energy storage of 7.5 TWh. In other words, if we count on electric cars to store the surplus of renewable electricity, their batteries would need to be 60 times larger than they are today (and that’s without allowing for the fact that electric cars will substantially increase power consumption).

Taking into account a charging/discharging efficiency of 85%, manufacturing 460 TWh of lithium-ion batteries would require 644 million Terajoule of primary energy, which is equal to 15 times the annual primary energy use in Europe. [36] This energy investment would be required at minimum every twenty years, which is the most optimistic life expectancy of lithium-ion batteries. There are many other technologies for storing excess electricity from renewable power plants, but all have unique disadvantages that make them unattractive on a large scale. [37] [38]

Matching Supply to Demand = Overbuilding the Infrastructure

In conclusion, calculating only the energy payback times of individual solar panels or wind turbines greatly overestimates the sustainability of a renewable power grid. If we want to match supply to demand at all times, we also need to factor in the energy use for overbuilding the power generation and transmission capacity, and the energy use for building the backup generation capacity and/or the energy storage. The need to overbuild the system also increases the costs and the time required to switch to renewable energy.

Calculating only the energy payback times of individual solar panels or wind turbines greatly overestimates the sustainability of a renewable power grid.

Combining different strategies is a more synergistic approach which improves the sustainability of a renewable power grid, but these advantages are not large enough to provide a fundamental solution. [33] [39] [40]

Building solar panels, wind turbines, transmission lines, balancing capacity and energy storage using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels doesn’t solve the problem either, because it also assumes an overbuilding of the infrastructure: we would need to build an extra renewable energy infrastructure to build the renewable energy infrastructure.

Adjusting Demand to Supply

However, this doesn’t mean that a sustainable renewable power grid is impossible. There’s a fifth strategy, which does not try to match supply to demand, but instead aims to match demand to supply. In this scenario, renewable energy would ideally be used only when it’s available.

If we could manage to adjust all energy demand to variable solar and wind resources, there would be no need for grid extensions, balancing capacity or overbuilding renewable power plants. Likewise, all the energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines would be utilised, with no transmission losses and no need for curtailment or energy storage.

Moulbaix Belgium  the windmill de la Marquise XVII XVIIIth centuries

Windmill in Moulbaix, Belgium, 17th/18th century. Image: Jean-Pol GrandMont.

Of course, adjusting energy demand to energy supply at all times is impossible, because not all energy using activities can be postponed. However, the adjustment of energy demand to supply should take priority, while the other strategies should play a supportive role. If we let go of the need to match energy demand for 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, a renewable power grid could be built much faster and at a lower cost, making it more sustainable overall.

If we could manage to adjust all energy demand to variable solar and wind resources, there would no need for energy storage, grid extensions, balancing capacity or overbuilding renewable power plants.

With regards to this adjustment, even small compromises yield very beneficial results. For example, if the UK would accept electricity shortages for 65 days a year, it could be powered by a 100% renewable power grid (solar, wind, wave & tidal power) without the need for energy storage, a backup capacity of fossil fuel power plants, or a large overcapacity of power generators. [29]

If demand management is discussed at all these days, it’s usually limited to so-called ‘smart’ household devices, like washing machines or dishwashers that automatically turn on when renewable energy supply is plentiful. However, these ideas are only scratching the surface of what’s possible.

Before the Industrial Revolution, both industry and transportation were largely dependent on intermittent renewable energy sources. The variability in the supply was almost entirely solved by adjusting energy demand. For example, windmills and sailing boats only operated when the wind was blowing. In the next article, I will explain how this historical approach could be successfully applied to modern industry and cargo transportation.

Kris De Decker (edited by Jenna Collett)


[1] Swart, R. J., et al. Europe’s onshore and offshore wind energy potential, an assessment of environmental and economic constraints. No. 6/2009. European Environment Agency, 2009.

[2] Lopez, Anthony, et al. US renewable energy technical potentials: a GIS-based analysis. NREL, 2012. See also Here’s how much of the world would need to be covered in solar panels to power Earth, Business Insider, October 2015.

[3] Hart, Elaine K., Eric D. Stoutenburg, and Mark Z. Jacobson. “The potential of intermittent renewables to meet electric power demand: current methods and emerging analytical techniques.” Proceedings of the IEEE 100.2 (2012): 322-334.

[4] Ambec, Stefan, and Claude Crampes. Electricity production with intermittent sources of energy. No. 10.07. 313. LERNA, University of Toulouse, 2010.

[5] Mulder, F. M. “Implications of diurnal and seasonal variations in renewable energy generation for large scale energy storage.” Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy 6.3 (2014): 033105.

[6] INITIATIVE, MIT ENERGY. “Managing large-scale penetration of intermittent renewables.” (2012).

[7] Richard Perez, Mathieu David, Thomas E. Hoff, Mohammad Jamaly, Sergey Kivalov, Jan Kleissl, Philippe Lauret and Marc Perez (2016), “Spatial and temporal variability of solar energy“, Foundations and Trends in Renewable Energy: Vol. 1: No. 1, pp 1-44.

[8] Sun Angle and Insolation. FTExploring.

[9]  Sun position calculator, Sun Earth Tools.

[10] Burgess, Paul. ” Variation in light intensity at different latitudes and seasons effects of cloud cover, and the amounts of direct and diffused light.” Forres, UK: Continuous Cover Forestry Group. Available online at http://www. ccfg. org. uk/conferences/downloads/P_Burgess. pdf. 2009.

[11] Solar output can be increased, especially in winter, by tilting solar panels so that they make a 90 degree angle with the sun’s rays. However, this only addresses the spreading out of solar irradiation and has no effect on the energy lost because of the greater air mass, nor on the amount of daylight hours. Furthermore, tilting the panels is always a compromise. A panel that’s ideally tilted for the winter sun will be less efficient in the summer sun, and the other way around.

[12] Schaber, Katrin, Florian Steinke, and Thomas Hamacher. “Transmission grid extensions for the integration of variable renewable energies in europe: who benefits where?.” Energy Policy 43 (2012): 123-135.

[13] German offshore wind capacity factors, Energy Numbers, July 2017

[14] What are the capacity factors of America’s wind farms? Carbon Counter, 24 July 2015.

[15] Sorensen, Bent. Renewable Energy: physics, engineering, environmental impacts, economics & planning; Fourth Edition. Elsevier Ltd, 2010.

[16] Jerez, S., et al. “The Impact of the North Atlantic Oscillation on Renewable Energy Resources in Southwestern Europe.” Journal of applied meteorology and climatology 52.10 (2013): 2204-2225.

[17] Eerme, Kalju. “Interannual and intraseasonal variations of the available solar radiation.” Solar Radiation. InTech, 2012.

[18] Archer, Cristina L., and Mark Z. Jacobson. “Geographical and seasonal variability of the global practical wind resources.” Applied Geography 45 (2013): 119-130.

[19] Rugolo, Jason, and Michael J. Aziz. “Electricity storage for intermittent renewable sources.” Energy & Environmental Science 5.5 (2012): 7151-7160.

[20] Even at today’s relatively low shares of renewables, curtailment is already happening, caused by either transmission congestion, insufficient transmission availability, or minimal operating levels on thermal generators (coal and atomic power plants are designed to operate continuously). See: “Wind and solar curtailment”, Debra Lew et al., National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2013. For example, in China, now the world’s top wind power producer, nearly one-fifth of total wind power is curtailed. See: Chinese wind earnings under pressure with fifth of farms idle, Sue-Lin Wong & Charlie Zhu, Reuters, May 17, 2015.

[21] Barnhart, Charles J., et al. “The energetic implications of curtailing versus storing solar- and wind-generated electricity.” Energy & Environmental Science 6.10 (2013): 2804-2810.

[22] Schaber, Katrin, et al. “Parametric study of variable renewable energy integration in europe: advantages and costs of transmission grid extensions.” Energy Policy 42 (2012): 498-508.

[23] Schaber, Katrin, Florian Steinke, and Thomas Hamacher. “Managing temporary oversupply from renewables efficiently: electricity storage versus energy sector coupling in Germany.” International Energy Workshop, Paris. 2013.

[24] Underground cables can partly overcome this problem, but they are about 6 times more expensive than overhead lines.

[25] Szarka, Joseph, et al., eds. Learning from wind power: governance, societal and policy perspectives on sustainable energy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

[26] Rodriguez, Rolando A., et al. “Transmission needs across a fully renewable european storage system.” Renewable Energy 63 (2014): 467-476.

[27] Furthermore, new transmission capacity is often required to connect renewable power plants to the rest of the grid in the first place — solar and wind farms must be co-located with the resource itself, and often these locations are far from the place where the power will be used.

[28] Becker, Sarah, et al. “Transmission grid extensions during the build-up of a fully renewable pan-European electricity supply.” Energy 64 (2014): 404-418.

[29] Zero Carbon britain: Rethinking the Future, Paul Allen et al., Centre for Alternative Technology, 2013

[30] Wave energy often correlates with wind power: if there’s no wind, there’s usually no waves.

[31] Building even larger supergrids to take advantage of even wider geographical regions, or even the whole planet, could make the need for balancing capacity largely redundant. However, this could only be done at very high costs and increased transmission losses. The transmission costs increase faster than linear with distance traveled since also the amount of peak power to be transported will grow with the surface area that is connected. [5] Practical obstacles also abound. For example, supergrids assume peace and good understanding between and within countries, as well as equal interests, while in reality some benefit much more from interconnection than others. [22]

[32] Heide, Dominik, et al. “Seasonal optimal mix of wind and solar power in a future, highly renewable Europe.” Renewable Energy 35.11 (2010): 2483-2489.

[33] Rasmussen, Morten Grud, Gorm Bruun Andresen, and Martin Greiner. “Storage and balancing synergies in a fully or highly renewable pan-european system.” Energy Policy 51 (2012): 642-651.

[34] Weitemeyer, Stefan, et al. “Integration of renewable energy sources in future power systems: the role of storage.” Renewable Energy 75 (2015): 14-20.

[35] Assessment of the European potential for pumped hydropower energy storage, Marcos Gimeno-Gutiérrez et al., European Commission, 2013

[36] The calculation is based on the data in this article: How sustainable is stored sunlight? Kris De Decker, Low-tech Magazine, 2015.

[37] Evans, Annette, Vladimir Strezov, and Tim J. Evans. “Assessment of utility energy storage options for increased renewable energy penetration.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16.6 (2012): 4141-4147.

[38] Zakeri, Behnam, and Sanna Syri. “Electrical energy storage systems: A comparative life cycle cost analysis.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 42 (2015): 569-596.

[39] Steinke, Florian, Philipp Wolfrum, and Clemens Hoffmann. “Grid vs. storage in a 100% renewable Europe.” Renewable Energy 50 (2013): 826-832.

[40] Heide, Dominik, et al. “Reduced storage and balancing needs in a fully renewable European power system with excess wind and solar power generation.” Renewable Energy 36.9 (2011): 2515-2523.

Excerpted article originally published in Low Tech Magazine on 13 Sept 2017

Wind and solar are great for off-grid applications. But grid-scale energy is an entirely different animal. Understanding the basics of grid-scale energy allows a thinking person to see through the giga-scams of individuals such as Elon Musk, the Google founders, Tom Steyer, and a long list of green scammers who wish to transfer taxpayer and energy-consumer dollars into their own pockets. In the process they contribute to the degradation of grid stability and power quality while driving energy costs ever upward.

We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines! 😉

More: A future of disruptive change that energy forecasters cannot seem to understand

More: Large lithium battery banks: Dead in 5 years, toxic forever; A Poison Tsunami of Battery Waste in Your Future

Posted in Energy, Green Quagmire | Tagged | 3 Comments

A More Relevant Ranking of Top US Universities

University of Chicago

Universities were once meant to expose young people to “the universe” of rational schools of thought. The diversity of ideas and freedom of expression were once of paramount importance, before political correctness took over. In the interest of full disclosure, university rankings should take into account the degree to which schools are devoted to exposing youth to a broad range of thinkers and to the principles of freedom of speech. Unfortunately, the major university rankings ignore this component of academia, and thus generally render themselves almost worthless to parents and prospective undergraduates.

The Heterodox Academy compiles a ranking of US universities which ranks universities by freedom of speech and levels of idea diversity at all levels — among students, faculty, and administrative staff. Methodology

Note: The shortened table below is truncated from the full table at the website.

Heterodox Academy Ranking of US Universities








98 U of Chicago

Chicago IL

81 College of William and Mary

Williamsburg VA

81 George Mason U

Fairfax VA

81 U of Tennessee – Knoxville

Knoxville TN

78 Carnegie Mellon U

Pittsburgh PA

78 U of Florida

Gainesville FL

78 U of Mississippi – Oxford

University MS

78 U of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill NC

78 U of Utah – Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City UT

78 U of Virginia

Charlottesville VA

69 Arizona State U

Tempe AZ

69 U of Maryland – College Park

College Park MD

68 Purdue U

West Lafayette IN

68 Washington U – St. Louis

St. Louis MO

63 Villanova U

Villanova PA

61 Oregon State U

Corvallis OR

59 Princeton U

Princeton NJ

59 Texas
A & M

College Station TX

59 U of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia PA

59 Auburn U

Auburn AL

55 California Institute of Technology

Pasadena CA

55 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge MA

55 Southern Methodist U

Dallas TX

55 SUNY – Binghamton

Binghamton NY

55 U of Connecticut

Storrs CT

55 U of Kentucky – Lexington

Lexington KY

55 U of New Hampshire

Durham NH

51 North Carolina State U

Raleigh NC

51 U of Nebraska – Lincoln

Lincoln NE

50 Louisiana State U

Baton Rouge LA

50 Pepperdine U

Malibu CA

50 U of Wisconsin – Madison

Madison WI

49 Columbia U

New York NY

48 Baylor U

Waco TX

48 Boston College

Chestnut Hill MA

48 Florida State U

Tallahassee FL

48 Tulane U

New Orleans LA

48 U of California – Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara CA

48 U of Georgia – Athens

Athens GA

48 U of Kansas – Lawrence

Lawrence KS

48 U of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor MI

48 U of Oklahoma – Norman

Norman OK

48 Wake Forest U

Winston-Salem NC

46 Michigan State U

East Lansing MI

44 Duke U

Durham NC

44 Syracuse U

Syracuse NY

44 U of Minnesota – Twin-Cities

Minneapolis MN

44 Virginia Tech

Blacksburg VA

43 The Ohio State U – Columbus

Columbus OH

43 Vanderbilt U

Nashville TN

43 Washington State U

Pullman WA

41 Dartmouth College

Hanover NH

40 U of Rochester

Rochester NY

40 Johns Hopkins U

Baltimore MD

40 Brandeis U

Waltham MA

39 American U

Washington D.C.

39 Colorado State U

Fort Collins CO

38 Case Western Reserve U

Cleveland OH

38 Loyola U – Chicago

Chicago IL

38 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy NY

36 Iowa State U

Ames IA

36 Stanford U

Palo Alto CA

36 Temple U

Philadelphia PA

36 U of Arizona – Tucson

Tucson AZ

36 U of Arkansas – Fayetteville

Fayetteville AR

36 U of Colorado – Boulder

Boulder CO

36 U of Delaware

Newark DE

36 U of Iowa

Iowa City IA

36 U of Washington

Seattle WA

35 U of California – Irvine

Irvine CA

35 U of California – Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz CA

35 U of Massachusetts – Amherst

Amherst MA

35 Depaul U

Chicago IL

34 Georgetown U

Washington D.C.

34 U of California – Davis

Davis CA

33 U of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

Champaign IL

33 U of Missouri – Columbia

Columbia MO

31 Drexel U

Philadelphia PA

31 Pennsylvania State U

State College PA

31 U of Southern California

Los Angeles CA

30 George Washington U

Washington D.C.

30 Indiana U – Bloomington

Bloomington IN

30 St. Louis U

St. Louis MO

30 SUNY – Buffalo

Buffalo NY

30 U of Alabama – Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa AL

30 U of California – San Diego

La Jolla CA

30 U of Vermont

Burlington VT

29 Rice U

Houston TX

29 U of Notre Dame

Notre Dame IN

29 Tufts U

Medford MA

29 U of Texas – Austin

Austin TX

28 Brown U

Providence RI

28 Emory U

Atlanta GA

28 Marquette U

Milwaukee WI

28 U of California – Riverside

Riverside CA

28 U of Tulsa

Tulsa OK

26 Yale U

New Haven CT

25 Cornell U

Ithaca NY

25 Fordham U

New York NY

24 Rutgers U – New Brunswick

New Brunswick NJ

24 U of California – Los Angeles

Los Angeles CA

23 U of California – Berkeley

Berkeley CA

22 Georgia Tech

Atlanta GA

20 New York U

New York NY

19 Northwestern U

Evanston IL

16 Harvard U

Cambridge MA

15 U of Oregon – Eugene

Eugene OR

0 103 No RED RED RED

Full Table at

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)

ISI (Intercollegiate Studies Institute) Rankings Home: Useful articles on the struggle to free universities from the grip of politically correct orthodoxy.

Support Free Speech at Berkeley:


An interesting discussion of why universities may be doomed

Posted in Groupthink, Politics, University | Tagged

Trump’s Long Game: Behind a Smokescreen of Tweets

Trump did not go through the arduous journey of running for office and being elected US President just so he could spend his time sending out tweets. Behind the curtain, Trump marches on.

Trump’s Long Game Achievements Have Just Begun

Trump’s New Constitution-Friendly Judges

President Trump’s federal judicial nominees promise to bring the US Constitution back into is rightful place in the judicial scheme of things.

So while the public watches Trump churn through White House staff members, his Administration is humming along nicely in filling federal judgeships, with the enthusiastic assistance of the Republican majority in the Senate. __ More Constitution-Friendly Judges

Suicidal Obama Employment Practices Being Shut Down

Obama’s job-killing machine is in the process of being shut down by a new Trump-designated Republican majority – yet another reason why employers are feeling more confident about the future these days.

Illegal Immigration Down

… back and forth analysis regarding the long-promised “wall” has diverted attention from the fundamental issue: how best to restore security to our southern border. Yet, illegal border crossings are down dramatically. It appears that jawboning from the president and improved morale among border patrol officers has made a difference.

Title IX Overreach Being Turned Back

New Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has promised to level the playing field – to the shock and dismay of progressive activists.

Obama’s Insane Housing Policy Reversed

The Obama-era Department of Housing and Urban Development was deeply interested in pre-empting local zoning ordinances. The narrative is familiar: pick any subdivision where racial housing patterns are not to the federal government’s liking, accuse the locals of discriminatory zoning practices, then negotiate a “settlement” that mandates the construction of new low-cost housing units even where there is no evidence of discrimination and the challenged local zoning laws are shown to be race-neutral. This mindset is a major departure from the notion that people should be free to live where they can afford to live. It is expected that Ben Carson’s HUD will re-establish this view. Score one for common sense, restored.

Source for above excerpts

The economy responds to Trump deregulation

59-item partial list of Trump’s accomplishments through early summer of 2017.

Trump’s Greatest Achievement is Trouncing Hillary

Keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House gave Trump the opportunity to begin reversing Obama’s assault against the US Constitution, against the US economy, and against the US as a place of optimism and opportunity. Releasing the US from Obama’s suffocating shackles can go a long way toward restoring optimism and opportunity to American society. From there, reversing harmful Bush and Clinton-era policies would be most helpful.

Government spending is the biggest threat to long term prosperity in the US, but the nation is so deeply addicted to all the forms of entitlement, military, and special interest spending, that dismantling that booby-trapped can of worms will take decades.

Another deadly time bomb which President Trump must deal with, is the “divide and conquer” policy of leftist multicultural identity politics — meant to prevent domestic peace and stop the achievement of a harmonious broad-based prosperity. Ongoing race riots in St. Louis reveal the underlying threat of left-sponsored and incited violence which exists in large US cities from coast to coast. Obama helped to build this bomb and much wiser heads will have to defuse it.

Behind a Smokescreen of Tweets

Angry media birds screech and claw endlessly at Trump, hoping to score a fatal blow with their little beaks and claws. Obsessed over Trump’s tweets, media twits cannot get it into their bird brains that their own obviously biased coverage of news and politics is one of the largest reasons for the election of Trump in the first place.

While the news and entertainment media allows itself to be sidetracked by inconsequential tweets, President Trump’s US base is more firmly behind Trump than ever. And the general antipathy against the US news and entertainment media only grows — not because of Trump’s words, but because of transparent media bias.

Trump Has Been in Office almost 8 Months

In just 8 months President Trump has made a start to restoring US Constitutional values and “common sense” to much of the monstrously dysfunctional US government. In doing so, he has been attacked at every turn by news & entertainment media, by academia, by deep state government infiltrators, by leftist billionaire provocateurs, by Kim of North Korea, and by all the dictators of the one-party states of the world.

Trump has barely begun to upset the corrupt and vicious national and world orders that have been so comfortably ensconced during the Obama years and before. Time will tell how much he will be able to achieve along these lines.

In other news elsewhere:

Canada has lots of millionaires

China shows an ugly hand and potential investors are certain to notice.

Russia is [a] minor power in purely economic terms, with a $1.2 trillion GDP compared to $1.4 trillion for South Korea, $11 trillion for China and nearly $19 trillion for the United States. For Russia, the economic news is not the worst problem they face. The sanctions and corruption caused another serious problem that the Russian government would rather not discuss (but are well aware of); the flight of investors and talented people from Russia. The investors and talent are mainly seeking better opportunities. The corruption makes investors (be they Russian or foreign) uneasy because the lack or legal protections makes for a very unpredictable economic environment. The same incentives drive talent away. Since 2013 over a million such people (most of them Russian citizens the rest disillusioned foreigners) have gone and the exodus continues. ____Russia’s problems continue…

Ben Shapiro finally takes the stage at UC Berkeley:

Trump’s Quiet Triumphs

Posted in Donald Trump, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Bernie Sanders: Still Honeymooning in the USSR

Bernie Sanders took his newlywed wife Jane to Yaroslavl, northeast of Moscow. It seemed an appropriate honeymoon spot to Burlington Vermont’s Marxist mayor. And so newly-wedded Bernie took his new bride to the USSR as an affirmation of their love and life together.

In his mind, Bernie is still honeymooning in the USSR.

Sanders made further globe-trotting expeditions to socialist countries. He visited Cuba, scoring a meeting with Havana’s mayor. In 1985 he attended the celebrations marking the sixth anniversary of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua.

__ Source

Besides Cuba, Nicaragua, and the USSR, Venezuela is another marxist paradise which Bernie Sanders loves and would like the US to emulate.

Times are Tough for Bernie

Bernie Helps to Resurrect Marxism from its Academic Tomb

Compared to Hillary Clinton, Sanders must have seemed like a fresh new political dream for many US youngsters, never exposed to the real world in any meaningful way. Bernie made them feel that socialism could work — if it were only done right!

Marxism isn’t done. It’s alive and well. Every time it fails, it re-brands itself, peddles itself to the next generation of wishful thinkers, and wrecks another country. Venezuela is the most recent, glaring example. The U.S. may be wrecked in time, too, because the proselytizers of Marxism (under various types of shiny Christmas wrapping) infest our university system, the entertainment establishment, the news media, and government. __ More at Source

Single Payer Universal Health Care Bernie’s Calling Card

There is a significant price to be paid for socialism — and it is always paid, eventually. But kindly looking hucksters such as Bernie never talk about such things in the sales pitch.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced new legislation yesterday to expand Medicare to everyone in the United States. The bill, which came with 15 Democratic co-sponsors, envisions universal coverage, paid for by tax increases, that would be far more generous than what is offered by any other first-world government-run health care system offers.

Notably absent from Sanders’ proposed single-payer system was a detailed plan to pay for it. The senator said he would lay out the tax hikes necessary to fund his new system in separate legislation. __ Reason

Spending Other People’s Money Until There is None Left

Marxist socialists assume that they can always dredge up more of “other people’s money” to throw at problems and to satisfy their enthusiastic naif backers. But as we have seen in failed socialist paradises such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, the USSR, the several nations of the former Warsaw Pact, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and the barely-saved-by-reforms Communist China, the bill always comes due. Default, bankruptcy, and upheaval generally follow.

Modern university students, graduates, and dropouts swarm in the streets in violent support of Bernie Sanders, and his many quasi-Marxist imitators in contemporary politics. They do not know any better, so do not necessarily deserve the consequences which their actions would ordinarily bring upon them. If they choose to stay in their academically spun cocoons of ignorance, however, their end will not be a pretty one.

The Bernie Sanders generation of new leftists: Making free speech a capital crime.

Posted in Groupthink, Medicine, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Engineering Apocalypse: David Goldman “Spengler”


Can the “Engineering Apocalypse” save China from its perfect storm?

According to the South China Morning Post, the impending economic crisis is rooted in expansive fiscal policy, increased government spending, rising property values, extremely lax monetary policies, record-high bank lending, and exploitation of regulatory loopholes. __ China’s Perfect Storm

How the World Ends?
Image Source

According to “Spengler:”

Only 8 percent of American undergraduates choose engineering as a major, compared to more than 30 percent in China (which now graduates four times as many engineers as the United States).

__ David Goldman’s Apocalypse

What about China’s engineers — the ones educated inside China?

China’s figures include graduates from 2 and 3 year programs and vocational fields such as car repair. U.S. numbers, in contrast, exclude computer science and information technology majors, which Gereffi and Wadhwa argue should fall under a broad definition of engineering. Their reanalysis of the 2004 numbers found that 137,000 students graduated from rigorous 4 year engineering programs in the United States compared with 351,000 in China and 112,000 in India.

Just how talented are the droves of overseas engineers? “The bottom line is that the Chinese increased quantity at the cost of quality,” says Wadhwa, whose team examined this topic in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Engineering Education. __ PDF

This is why China sends its most promising young proto-engineers to the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and Europe for training. This will likely remain the case for many years or decades to come.

Inflated Numbers Plague China

China’s provinces lie about their GDP levels. Lying at the national level is perhaps as bad, but more subtle and difficult to prove. More

By looking at a number of underlying statistics — which were until recently not quite as subject to “fudging” by authorities as GDP figures — one begins to understand a small part of the grand deception being put on by “Potemkin China.” Quantities such as “rail car loadings, truck loadings, cement consumption, steel consumption, exports, natural gas consumption, electricity consumption” [Source] tell a different story than official government claims. These underlying economic statistics are now almost certainly being altered by government statisticians to fit official GDP pronouncements. But before 2016, they provided an intriguing window into official Chinese deception.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the growth in old China for the past year or so has been somewhere around zero — it’s nothing like 6.8 percent,” Straszheim said, explaining that the “new” China of services and consumer spending is tough to measure in the absence of robust data from the private sector. __ Source

China’s Quality Problem is the Real Story

Poor Quality Chinese Concrete Leads to Building Collapse. The problem is built into the system, particularly in the corrupt nature of the Party – Banking – Industrial complex. Chinese steel suffers from the same quality control problems as Chinese concrete.

Corners are cut at every level due to corrupt incentives.

“For every one Chinese company that is improving [product quality], there are probably 10 out there that are still cutting corners and two [other] new companies are coming into the market by cutting more corners.” __ Wharton Business School

Bottom Up Incentives are Just as Bad as Corrupt Top Down Incentive

Chinese consumers share part of the blame for the abysmal state of Chinese manufacturing.

Chinese consumers are not generally looking at quality; it is assumed that if you want quality, then you buy the best one; otherwise just buy the cheap one. So manufacturers are not rewarded for making incrementally better products.

… with lax enforcement of a lot of product safety requirements, many Chinese domestic suppliers become accustomed to cutting corners where possible. Plastic too expensive? Add some re-grind material back into the hopper. Solder hard to work with? Use the one with lead in it, as it flows better. Price of copper rising? Get thinner printed circuit boards. You get the idea. __ Low Quality in China

The same quality control problems occur at the university level, in the training of Chinese engineers. This is a problem that is not likely to be solved for decades more.

The China Bubble is Real at All Levels

The China Bubble extends far beyond real estate. At all levels, China inflates its image and its reality far beyond healthy levels — in an attempt to impress and intimidate particular troublesome, gullible, and potentially influential actors on the world stage.

China Steals, Pirates, Poisons, and Corrupts Everything

If you pay attention to mainstream media, you will miss 99% of what is important. The media has a particular narrative that its wealthy owners wish to promote. That narrative-agenda does not include informing the public, so most crucial information about what happens in the world is left out — including what is happening in China. Censorship takes many forms, and is not just ubiquitous in the usual one-party nations of oppression.

China grew rich economically via foreign direct investment and technology transfer. Its huge consumer market combined with a cheap and willing labour force enticed large and wealthy commercial powers to invest in China, and to take the chance of transferring critical technology to China. China Inc. turned around and stole – reverse engineered – pirated and otherwise co-opted the property of others for itself.

In the process of China’s rapid growth and expansion of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, its air – water – soil – and food were poisoned. The toxicity and corruption that naturally grew up at all levels of Chinese society laid the groundwork for a near infinity of future problems that will never show up in the GDP calculations explicitly. But by poisoning and corrupting the things it controlled, China was forced to continue moving outward from the dead zones of destruction, seeking ever more pristine lands to spoil.

The nearly 50 million Chinese killed by Mao’s “cultural revolution” are considered something from the past, not likely to be repeated. But the ongoing “Bloody Harvest” of today’s political dissidents is constantly being airbrushed out of the picture. No, nothing has really changed. And that presents a problem — and a built-in limitation — on what China can ultimately achieve.

These are things that China promoters choose not to discuss publicly. But whether spoken of or not, reality follows its own path — regardless of the official narrative.

Remember: China is growing old before it can bring prosperity to the masses of its people. The one child policy has become engrained into the psyche of China, so that it continues in a de facto manor long after it is no longer law. In most of China there are no brothers and sisters, no cousins, no uncles or aunts, no family networks. It is a society of alienation where saying the wrong word can make you an organ provider.

China cannot help shooting itself in the foot. Hey Xing: Potential investors are paying attention!

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