Physics, Economics and energy transition

a mathematicians put it very simply, where an economist sees productivity a physicist sees energy

replies in the 3d are also interesting, the economy makes a better use of energy since the oil crisis, will it make a difference. Therphysicist might be unimpressed and remain skeptical.

Here a Lotke wheel is introduced and supports that physicist’s skeptiscism, it will be hard to keep growing if energy production does not grow herself. We grow the wheel and accelerate the circulation by adding more energy in the process. From this paper:

Lotka’s wheel and the long arm of history: how does the distant past determine today’s global rate of energy consumption?

In this approach future GDP is also caused by the cumulative GDP, all its history and, while the enrgy efficiency is clearly going up, the relationship between current and cumulative GDP remain steady

This is beacfuse cumulated GDP (which is W) captures all the wealth amassed over time, not just the one that gets monetised and depreciates quickly halving every 3,5 minutes. Greek fig trees might be dead 2,000 years but a culture of the fig tree remains owing to the ancient greeks

Does this model captures societal resistance or hysteresis to change ? It rather captures a “dark matter” of knowledge, insituttions, belifs a practices that shape the hidden metabolism of the world, beyond the markets. The relationship W/E stayed constant over 50 years in which 2/3rd of the wealth was created so, if we expect to stay constant as it is hard to change, continued growth will require growing.

Therefore “Even if world GDP growth falls to zero from its recent levels close to 3 % yr−1, long-term decadal-scale growth in resource demands and waste production will continue to accelerate. It is only by collapsing the historic accumulation of wealth we enjoy today, effectively by shrinking and slowing Lotka’s wheel, that our resource demands and waste production will decline” and this could happen via hyperinflation. But this is not doomism, is just a n implication of the model.

Approached from the opposite side it means that, as energy consumption will keep growing, decarbonization will have to proceed faster in order to decouple effectively growth from CO2, while growth and energy seems not easy to decouple. Unless something very deep


reasonable things to say, and ideology

these are reasonable things to say:

-your EV has 200 kg of metals in its batteries and it is a big environment impact

-you PV panel need rare eartchs mostly mined in China, and lot of chinese polisylicon too

-desertec (solar in the sahara) will never work out, EU economis won’t accept to depend on african countries

so, you have 200kg of metals and you car will run on it for 1,000 techarges and 200k kms. Your combustion engine in that time would need some 20 tons of fossil fuel. 100X impact on the environment, it seems, and 40 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere

same reasoning applies to PV panels, you need rare earths once, they will produce electricity for 30 years only with solar rays. But then China will hold us up, but if that happens, panels keep producing, when Putin stops sending gas to Europe we shiver and the price shots up immediately, haven’t you noticed?

And Desertec, this crazy idea of producing solar energy in the Sahara desert for Euope, are we so crazy to depend on adfrican countries for our energy? Apparently yes, we produce oil in Libya, Nigeria, Congo

if you did not think how unreasonable are the 3 sentences above it’s not your fault, it’s the habit to an energy system that runs smoothly in the background. If you look at the background then you worry, but mainstream communication always avoid to have you look behind the curtain, they successfully appeal to your comfort in keeping an effective status quo. You re being a conservative to whom a fossil ideology successfully appeals. It tells you things that sound sincerely reasonable, throws data at you that looks like science, you feel good with it but really are being vulnerable to ideological appellations to some feelings you have for a world that works well for you, warm house, big car, flights, things that are wrecking the planet for everybody. Do not stop at the reasonableness of things you hear, think outside the fossil ideology that encrust you, look at the world out there with fresh eyes

Fascismo fissile

il vittimismo dei nucleari

il grande passato perduto e rimpianto

l’attesa della palingenesi, la prossima generazione, il reattore di IV generazione

lo stato deve fare qualcosa, ogni stato, anche se si adora il mercato lo stato deve investire perchè non si può aspettare il mercato

c’è una cospirazione contro il nucleare, la burocrazia rallenta e blocca i nuovi impianti, i nemici del nucleare diffondono fake news per fuorviare il pubblico, e allora c’è anche bisogno di un avvocato dell’atomo per denunciare il complotto dei verdi radical chic

perchè il nucleare è centralizzato, per pochi eletti e toglie la potenza elettrica alle masse. Bisogna fare prima del solare e dell’eolico, si deve arginare il socialismo energetico

è una tecnologia centralizzata, iniziatica, si deve studiare per entrare nella elite niucleare

Carbon Budget

we can emit only 400 Gigatonnes more of CO2 to stay within 1,5 degree warming and you can check when we will run out of budget on this “clock”

One plain climate justice definition could be “everyone gets a fair share of the budget” which Oxfam translates into: top 10% should reduce emissions by 95% to allow bottom 50% to treble their emissions, this is the current distribution of emissions

The rigid budget also implies the longer we take to start reducing emissions the deepest cuts we will have to endure, check the “ski slope” diagram which really should prompt everybody into action now

Desertec down under

while Desertec is going nowhere, 2 similar projects down under look to produce renewables in the desert aeras of the nortern territories and dispatfch it via HVDC to Indonesia and Singapore: Sun Cable and Pilbara’s Asia Renewable Enrgy Hub

Sun Cable is a cable from Darwin to SIngapore, it’s a ctually a s’pore startup planning to buil genertion and transmission and is alive and kicking, calim: the world’s larget solar infrastructure website story from Guardian in 2019

Pilbara hub is this one described better here 11 GW of which 3 to 6 will go voersears, building will start in 2023 with HVDC to Jackarta

But Pilbara is a mining regiion, iron ore and lots of renewable projects are geared toward decrbonising mines and even producing hydrogen and ammonia. Lots of announcements with HVDC links too

BTW Desertec isn’t really dead, Italy’s Terna will shortly start building a 0,5 MW interconnection to Tunisia

Will it end with a paperclip maximizer? Or a permafrost refrigerator

you know the thought experiment by Svedish philosopher Bostrom, teach an AGI to maximize paperclip production and it will fagocitate the world unless you teach him/her/it ethics, human “values” and not values

But then you discover that an oil compay want to refrigerate the ground in order to save the permafrost that thaws due to fossil emissions

imagine how much permafrost in the norther hemisphere is foundation to roads, houses, plants, pipeline, lines. Here is a map from the good The Arctic by Dodds and Woodward

so here you have a perfect doomsday machine without having to resort to mithical AGI’s, perfect economic logic of nowadays oilmen and, executives and politicians. Pump more oil in order to keep pumping oil, pump some more to keep houses standing and roads open, fossil emissions will raise temperatures even further, ramp up oil production and keep going to 5 degrees warming, and pumop more to 10 degrees warming and then checkout what’s left of our civilization

The Permafrost Refrigerator is a thought experiment by a 1500 pound goat, not a swedish philospher, though it sounds more real than the paperclip maximizer

Fascismo Fossile e Nuovo Negazionismo

Clima politco, o politica del clima a partire da 2 screenshot. Prove di fascismo fossile, definizione di fascismo fossile per Malm è derivativa, la convergenza di interessi dell’economia fossile ed estrema destra. Le dichiarazioni di Scaroni quanto appellano all’estrema destra italiana? Almeno paternalismo. (da articolo ilfoglio su intervento Scaroni ad Atreju, dicembre 2021)

Anche il ministro CIngolani si mostra paternalista, ma peggio un negazionista raffinato, di nuova generazione. La colpa del riscaldamento globale è colpa dei ragazzi che abusano dei social ? Nice try, dati sbagliati e negazionismo di nova generazione, invece di negare il cambiamento climatico, si cerca di addebitarlo ai comportamenti individuali, schermando gli interessi economici. Good boy Cingolani, effendi Scaroni sarà compiaciuto. Grazie Michael E Mann per raccontarci le tecnioche di disinformazione del capitale fossile in Climate Wars

CERN for Climate Science

current models resolution too coarse, 100km boxes make impossbile to model clouds and essentially climate swing in mid latitudes, we really do not how to estimate the effects of warming arctic and reduced temperature gradient bewteen the arctic and the equator

CERN for climate, the idea must be her, Sabine Hossenfelder, physicist. Editorial on SCIAM

paper by climatologist Tim Palmer

Worth following, makes a lot of sense and would be a great tech challenge, climate models with 1 km resolutions

“current global climate models can’t represent cloud systems using the laws of physics because the grid spacing is too coarse (a hundred kilometers or more)” (..) “Because of the simplified representations of clouds, (current climate models tend to systematically misplace the principal regions in the tropics, known as the intertropical convergence zones, where rainfall occurs. Iin midlatitudes, the models underestimate the number of long-lived high-pressure systems known as anticyclones, which are associated with heat waves, forest fires and drought. All of these errors are typically at least as large as the climate-change signals the models attempt to simulate.” (..)

“The consequence of our inability to model essential climate processes very accurately is that we cannot correctly simulate extreme weather and climate events. The horrendous weather events of 2021—the near-50-degree-Celsius heat in British Columbia and the devastating flooding in the Eifel region in Germany, China’s province of Henan and New York City—are completely outside the range of what current-generation climate models can simulate.”

On the cahllenge of managing the growing trove of climate data

“Satellites are key to the story. As of last September, government agencies and private companies had about 900 Earth-orbiting satellites gathering data about our planet, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. That is almost three times as many as were aloft in 2008. More are being readied for launch.”

Dendritic cities getting a living from the sun

“What if we put food autonomy at the centre of urban design? In fact, what if we learned to see cities as vegetative surfaces with hyphae of structure embedded in them, rather than the reverse?

These vegetative surfaces could not be gardens or farms, nor could they be like greenhouses or precision vertical farms. The strategy underlying all of these is one of simplification in the service of scale: you select the things you want to grow, then you create a biome consisting of just those things. But recent events suggest we have exceeded the limits of marginal return to scale. (..)

The work of fashioning such a biome would bear comparison to that undertaken by the first human colonists of Australia, who used fire to create a landscape conducive to foraging – more nudging than cultivating. But it would have a vertical element. Tending these – what to call them? hanging forests? – would be a basic feature of urban life and not the remit of invisible low-wage specialists. A society where everyone was obliged to keep a hand in the basic work of getting a living from the Sun would be more resilient (..)”

City that Grow Themselves

(quoted here Milanovic and Sahlins)