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Inconvenient: The four pillars of civilization all require fossil fuels, and more of them

Not the kind of article we’d expect to see in Time Magazine. A 100% endorsement of the inescapable need for fossil fuels?

The Modern World Can’t Exist Without These Four Ingredients. They All Require Fossil Fuels

By Vaclav Smil, Time Magazine 

Four materials rank highest on the scale of necessity, forming what I have called the four pillars of modern civilization: cement, steel, plastics, and ammonia are needed in larger quantities than are other essential inputs. The world now produces annually about 4.5 billion tons of cement, 1.8 billion tons of steel, nearly 400 million tons of plastics, and 180 million tons of ammonia. But it is ammonia that deserves the top position as our most important material: its synthesis is the basis of all nitrogen fertilizers, and without their applications it would be impossible to feed, at current levels, nearly half of today’s nearly 8 billion people.

Does any other odd factoid capture the rise of China so well?

China now produces more than half of the world’s cement and in recent years it makes in just two years as much of it as did the United States during the entire 20th century.

Thanks to communist central planning much of that concrete may be mal-invested and mal-constructed and in need of demolition but that just needs even more fossil fuels.

Despite cement, steel, plastics, and ammonia  being so different, they have three things in common, Smil says: they can’t be replaced by other things easily, we need more of them than ever, and they all absolutely have to have fossil fuels.

Ammonia synthesis uses natural gas both as the source of hydrogen and as the source of energy needed to provide high temperature and pressure. Some 85% of all plastics are based on simple molecules derived from natural gas and crude oil, and hydrocarbons also supply energy for syntheses. Production of primary steel starts with smelting iron ore in blast furnace in the presence of coke made from coal and with the addition of natural gas, and the resulting cast iron is made into steel in large basic oxygen furnaces. And cement is produced by heating ground limestone and clay, shale in large kilns, long inclined metal cylinders, heated with such low-quality fossil fuels as coal dust, petroleum coke and heavy fuel oil.

But if you think that’s demanding — look at the shopping list for Electric Vehicles:

 A typical lithium car battery weighing about 450 kilograms contains about 11 kilograms of lithium, nearly 14 kilograms of cobalt, 27 kilograms of nickel, more than 40 kilograms of copper, and 50 kilograms of graphite—as well as about 181 kilograms of steel, aluminum, and plastics. Supplying these materials for a single vehicle requires processing about 40 tons of ores, and given the low concentration of many elements in their ores it necessitates extracting and processing about 225 tons of raw materials.

The only politically correct line in the whole article was one slipped in there about reducing fertilizer by eating less meat. But really, it was nothing compared to the ideological advertising we’ve come to expect and it was in a section quietly headlined “Ideas — Climate Change” ?

As a result, global production of these four indispensable materials claims about 17 percent of the world’s annual total energy supply, and it generates about 25 percent of all CO2 emissions originating in the combustion of fossil fuels.

Not even one line in the article about dealing with climate change. Perhaps it’s just an accident?

Adapted from HOW THE WORLD REALLY WORKS by Vaclav Smil, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2022 by Vaclav Smil.

h/t to Edward H

9.4 out of 10 based on 94 ratings

219 comments to Inconvenient: The four pillars of civilization all require fossil fuels, and more of them

  • #
    Wixy

    A few spare moments and surfing some Meteorological sites and find evaporation rates are/were either static or falling locally and world wide. Doesn’t make sense to an old bloke.
    I’m sure someone out there will know why if temps are rising evaporation is defying ‘gravity’ if that term can be used?

    301

    • #
      el+gordo

      Evaporation rates during the Little Ice Age were low in Australia, so it was cool and wet for hundreds of years. You can draw your own conclusions.

      61

  • #
    b.nice

    “reducing fertilizer by eating less meat”

    ?? Most cattle and lambs etc aren’t generally grown on land that uses fertilisers.

    Only place you might see fertilser used is in hay, lucerne, and other harvested stock feeds

    Its the crops and vegetables etc that need fertiliser.

    514

    • #
      Old Cocky

      There seems to be an implicit assumption that all meat animals, especially cattle, are lot fed and/or are housed indoors during the winter.

      They probably are housed indoors with supplementary feed during winter in places with harsh winter weather such as northern Europe, northern US states and Canada.

      271

      • #

        Old Cocky, most are in indoor systems.

        324

        • #
          Old Cocky

          Quod Erat Demonstrandum

          191

          • #
            Just+Thinkin'

            Nothing like a bit of Latin thrown in.
            From 60 years ago for me.
            About the only thing I remember of it.
            QED

            80

            • #
              Ian

              Nothing like a bit of Latin thrown in.
              From 60 years ago for me.
              About the only thing I remember of it.
              QED

              I can still remember it being invariably chalked on the board by the Maths teacher as he concluded the proving of a mathematical problem

              71

            • #
              another ian

              Then there was “- – – tu es – thou art – a clot – – “

              00

        • #
          Hanrahan

          AFAIK cattle are raised to the desired size on open pasture and then sold as stores to lot feeders who “finish” them.

          A standard rump in Aus may never have been in a lot. Angus and wagu would have been.

          123

          • #
            Annie

            Around our way there are beautiful pasture/pasture hay-fed cattle. They go straight to the abbatoir and then the beef is shipped to the USA, guaranteed grass-fed. No feed lots for those beautiful steers.

            180

          • #
            beowulf

            Whether an animal has been lot-fed has nothing to do with its breed.

            Wagyu is an exception in the cattle world if reared the Japanese way where they are constantly housed, pampered, fed beer, and given a daily massage to supposedly work the fat into the muscle to create more marbling. That is unsurprisingly not normal beef husbandry practice.

            Where I’m from everything is grass-fed all the way to the plate. Angus cattle are common and are grass fed like all the rest. Lot-feeding is done further west with huge feedlots around Gunnedah etc, close to the sources of grain.

            b. nice is not quite right either. Virtually all prime lambs are grown on fertilized pasture or fertilized wheat/oats crops (the plants not the grain). They have to be. They need to be grown quickly on lush feed, and you don’t get that from unimproved rangeland pastures. The ewes have to be pumping out the milk and they need lush pasture for that too. Modern hybrid grasses require optimal soil fertility to bring out their best, so it’s fertilise or go broke.

            Grass-fed beef cattle are frequently fed on fertilized pastures in the coastal and tableland country. In the 60s/70s/80s it was common around here (Hunter Valley) for Super Phosphate to be flown onto the pastures every couple of years. The planes spreading Super were a common sight as they hugged the contours of the hills. Don’t see them so much these days. I wasn’t a fan of Super as it burns the guts out of the soil and destroys a lot of the soil biota. The fungi in the soil get hit hard — you won’t find a mushroom on soil that has been Supered.

            “Vealers” (which produce “yearling beef”, not veal) are cattle around 10 months old give or take, but less than 12 months old, and they produce the highest quality meat due to being young and tender. That is what Oz consumers prefer. Vealers can be grain-finished, but most around here are not.

            Older, larger cattle are sent either frozen or live to the Asian markets like Korea (grain-fed), Japan (grain-fed) and Indonesia (mostly grass-fed). If you buy budget beef at Woolies or Coles it is also likely to be a bit older and therefore cheaper per kg. The supermarkets have their own buyers that deal directly with large feedlots to acquire cattle in the large numbers they need for their weekly kill, so supermarket beef is virtually all grain-finished these days.

            All dairy cattle are fed on pastures that are heavily fertilized with NPK — particularly N — which then creates the need for lime to correct the soil pH.

            We used chicken litter (sawdust with manure) from broiler sheds which added N, P, Ca and organic matter simultaneously to overcome that problem. The Ca buffered the pH.

            The fact is farmers rely heavily on artificial fertilizers unfortunately.

            111

            • #
              Philip

              I spread urea for part of my living, on rye grass for dairy and beef. There is a reason it is used, because it is good, it works and is easy to apply and handle. Nothing unfortunate about it. The requirement of Lime true, but minor, and rye actually handles acidity quite well. Been going on around here for donkeys years and grass grows better than ever.

              61

              • #
                beowulf

                I think you misinterpreted me. We used a fair bit of urea too, applied after every grazing, probably 30-40 tonnes per year. Been going on around here for donkeys as well — and things got worse over time. The urea is not the problem as it either gets taken up immediately by the plants or it volatises into the air if there is not enough moisture to retain it. In the old days sulphate of ammonia was the real killer of pH. They stopped using it when I was a kid, but its effects lingered on. Nitram is kinder, but still acidifying.

                As for pH, it’s NOT minor and it depends how bad it gets. pH makes a hell of a difference to pasture growth. We had podzolic soils and after years of NPK they were under 4.5 in several paddocks and 5 in many more. Not good. Anything below 5 and you’ve got problems. You get deficiencies and toxicities of various elements that stunt growth of ryegrasses and clovers, and the acid soil kills off rhizobium on the clovers as well. Our winter pastures were all rye and clovers. We got back up to 6-6.5 with only chicken litter in most paddocks, plus some lime in the worst.

                We still used Starter 18 on our corn crops, plus top-dressed with N before the plants got too big. Cut for silage. Our lucerne paddocks only got chicken litter.

                It is unfortunate because you have to buy the fertilizers and they’re going to get a lot dearer, that’s if you can source them in adequate quantities. It’s a pity we can’t farm on a large scale without them.

                60

              • #
                MP

                Urea is a very common additive to molasses, especially in the drier area’s. But I add it to molasses and a few farms around me, protein.
                The breeder stations use a large amount and there are many companies that do just this. (Stock Lick Trading)

                00

              • #
                MP

                Its referred to as MU (molasses, Urea) and MU8 is with 8% urea. Very common.
                My thought is why put it into pasture and lose it in run off and leaching, put it straight into cattle and the N is converted to protein and what is excreted then goes to the grass.

                https://futurebeef.com.au/resources/protein-and-urea-supplementation/

                00

              • #
                another ian

                B

                We measured ph in mulga soil down to about 4.5 and “there ain’t no fertiliser used there”

                00

            • #
              Torledo

              “Virtually all prime lambs are grown on fertilized pasture or fertilized wheat/oats crops (the plants not the grain). They have to be. They need to be grown quickly on lush feed, and you don’t get that from unimproved rangeland pastures. The ewes have to be pumping out the milk and they need lush pasture for that too. Modern hybrid grasses require optimal soil fertility to bring out their best, so it’s fertilise or go broke.”

              Maybe that’s what is done in the Hunter, but in my experience this is incorrect. We sold 125 lambs to the prime market last week and will send another 400 over the next 4 weeks. None of these lambs or their mothers were grazed on fertiliser improved pasture, ate forage crops, fed grain or hay. They relied purely on native pasture grown in a NSW Central West paddock, and sold very well. Fertiliser is an option for livestock producers in the cropping belts, but not always used. Two thirds of NSW sits outside the cropping belt where livestock producers rely solely on native grasses grown from rain fallen on their land. Fertiliser application isn’t economically viable nor suitable on far western rangeland properties. The mothers raise their lambs on native pasture, the lambs are grown out on native pasture, and more often than not, sold over-the-hooks direct to meatwork plants.

              50

        • #
          beowulf

          Graeme M, from your site I see you’re a vegan who does a lot of incomplete back-of-the-envelope calculations on farming, sitting behind your city desk no doubt.

          You must be commenting from N America or Europe, because in Australia virtually NO cattle or sheep are housed.

          The only cattle I am aware of in Australia that were housed were dairy cattle in the NT where they were under cover to keep them out of the sun because dairy breeds couldn’t stand the tropical heat. I believe that enterprise went broke 25 years ago after a couple of years.

          70

          • #

            beowulf, yes, my educated guesses about that are globally based. I have checked various references and am confident I am not too far off but there are a lot of uncertainties. I agree about Australian beef and lamb, but nearly all our chickens and pigs ARE housed all year round and we need a lot of grains/soy to feed them. We grow a lot less soy these days as most is used for human food while we import the meal from overseas. There are some dairy indoor systems, I think there is a large, possibly Chinese owned one somewhere in NSW. When we talk about meat, we do sort of have to include monogastrics and fish (a lot of which is also farmed). BTW, I am not a “vegan” for the reason I don’t believe there is really such a thing, but I do support the underlying idea. I have a farmer friend who runs beef and lamb out Tumut way; I have visited her farm on occasions and we get eggs from her free-ranging chickens.

            20

          • #
            Mantaray Yunupingu

            Ah beowulf. I know how poor sods like Graeme M feel….and sometimes I’m sorry for them…stuck in their glass and concrete existence…afraid of real life….wishing things were different: that they could eat things other than soy and mung-beans. Here’s a guy putting HIS thoughts on these matters to paper….

            “In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
            Gone a-droving ‘down the Cooper’ where the Western drovers go;
            As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
            For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

            And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
            In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
            And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
            And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.

            I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
            Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
            And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
            Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all

            YIKES!!

            121

          • #

            As far as I can tell this is not about Australia and G M was writing about the world. Further to that he was writing about meat and not cattle specifically.

            36

            • #

              PS. He is Australian and in other comments here he makes reference to specifics, unlike the flappy armwavery of most others.

              87

            • #
              Old Cocky

              Lumping everything together loses so much information that it isn’t funny.

              31

              • #

                The whole article is about a global.

                28

              • #
                Old Cocky

                Can’t reply to Gee Aye directly, so replying to myself.

                Aggregating the entire world’s livestock industries loses a vast amount of information, as does consolidating different types of livestock and different types of production.

                Ruminants and omnivores have vastly different digestive processes.
                Pasture-grazed ruminants have little requirement for non-local inputs.
                Fleece production has a vastly different footprint to meat production.
                Animals in cold climates have much higher nutritional requirements.
                Internal and external parasite loads very by region and climate zone.

                Most of this information is lost by aggregating all worldwide livestock production. This missing information may be critical for optimising production, rather than just banning all livestock production for any purpose.

                81

              • #
                another ian

                Gee! Eh?

                “The whole article is about a global.”

                A global what?

                30

              • #

                No doubt Cocky but why specify Australia? That says nothing about the aggregate globally.

                02

              • #
                Old Cocky

                Talking to myself again because there’s no “reply” for Gee Aye’s comment.

                “No doubt Cocky but why specify Australia? That says nothing about the aggregate globally.”

                Fair enough, but b.nice didn’t narrow it down to Oz and neither did I. The point was that there is an implicit assumption which is conditioned by local practices.
                As this thread has shown, that applies here as well, but with less of a tendency to think local practices apply universally.

                00

              • #

                The article above was about the whole earth. You can bang on about specific countries if you like but that doesn’t address the topic.

                *agree re the reply button but you can’t nest forever.

                03

              • #
                Old Cocky

                Alas, it’s difficult to carry on a discussion without being able to reply directly to a statement 🙁

                Gee Aye, I think you are reading things in my comments which are not there.
                To recap…

                Agreed, the article mentioned reducing fertiliser use by eating less meat. b.nice stated that most cattle and lamb production is on unfertilised land. That may or may not be correct, but is something to discuss directly.
                My response was regarding the implicit assumption by many that livestock are housed and/or grain-fed.
                That assumption is correct in many cases, and incorrect in many others.
                Certainly, reducing consumption of meat grown in situations which requires more fertiliser input than vegetable matter to provide the same nutritional value will reduce fertiliser use.
                However, there are many cases where meat requires less fertiliser input than vegetable matter. Rangeland ruminant production is carried out on a large proportion of the world’s land area.
                In addition, many areas can support rangeland grazing but not farming.

                By aggregating all meat production, that information, and the ability to optimise fertiliser use for all nutrition sources, is lost.

                Would reducing aggregate meat consumption reduce aggregate fertiliser use? I don’t know, but disaggregating the figures can allow optimisation which is not possible by lumping everything together.

                Then somehow it got sidetracked onto an Australian focus which exists on other threads.

                10

              • #
                b.nice

                nesting only goes 5 deep., that’s why there is no reply button on these posts

                10

              • #
                Old Cocky

                My mistake. Australia was mentioned, but not by me – missed that.

                00

            • #
              another ian

              Gee! Eh?

              “As far as I can tell this is not about Australia and G M was writing about the world. ”

              Are you confirming that Australia is of another world?

              10

          • #

            Beowulf, oddly I did reply but it’s still in moderation for some reason. As Gee Aye noted, my opinions are talking to a global context. But as I pointed out, the vast majority of animals farmed for food here in Australia are in CAFO systems, not outdoors.

            [GM, I trust that comment was freed up? I can’t see any still caught. – J]

            00

        • #
          another ian

          Any archaeologist that found a bison shed?

          There are an awful lot of rangeland cattle that aren’t!

          40

    • #

      Almost all of the chickens and pigs in the world are fed from some kind of plant-based food, mostly soy, while cattle are frequently finished in feedlots which also require some kind of grain. It is estimated that about a third of global area under crops supplies feed for livestock. Add to this the methane from enteric emissions from beef and dairy cattle and reducing meat consumption would be beneficial. Of course, given the vast numbers of animals farmed in cruel CAFO systems, it would also do much to improve animal welfare and reduce over fishing of the oceans and excessive land clearing.

      332

      • #
        Annie

        You need more land (good, not marginal, land) to feed vegetarians and vegans and higher usage of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers than meat production requires. Add to that all the irrigation needs. I fear you are talking codswallop.

        260

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Yes Annie it is codswallop, most cattle are not finished in feedlots and the vast majority are grass fed . Grain fed for 3 plus months is superior to grass fed though.

          60

          • #

            Grass fed beef that isn’t finished with grains sells at higher prices — probably because it has a healthier omega3/6 ratio and there is a demand for that. Grass fed mince is $20/kg at Coles/Woolies here in Australia. I presume — though I may be wrong — that if the makers of cheap mince were not using feedlot farms they would prefer to label it “free range” and sell it for higher prices? I assume most cheap mince has some feedlot finishing, but was told by one butcher to look for meat with yellow fat, as it was more likely to be cheap grass fed meat — the beta carotenes in grass make the fat yellower. Grains lack that.

            Fattening cattle with grains may improve flavour, but I doubt it’s healthier for cow or consumer. Though I believe Matt and Janet Thompson when they told me their feedlot cows were well fed and happy cows. Eating a lot and sitting down more can’t be too hard….

            Per calorie, grass has more antioxidants, minerals and essential components compared to grains.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846864/
            https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/know-your-fats/fatty-acid-analysis-of-grass-fed-and-grain-fed-beef-tallow/

            110

            • #
              robert rosicka

              Yes grain fed improves flavour because of the increased marbling , very easy to spot the difference when you know what your looking for .

              60

        • #

          Annie, that might be true if we only raised say cattle and sheep on open pasture. But we don’t, at least not globally. But even in Australia, the vast majority of animals are in CAFO systems (about 600-700 million chickens and pigs are slaughtered each year compared to just 30-40 million cattle). CAFO systems use grains and soy as feed. Globally about 1.6 billion hectares are cropped, of which about 500 million hectares are used to produce animal feed. We feed monogastrics about 2-3 times as much human edible protein as we get back. We would need less land under crops if we eliminated all those CAFO systems and raised grass-fed beef and cattle, reduced meat consumption and ate a mostly plant-based diet.

          213

          • #
            Philip

            Graeme there must be a demand for this beef. Why is that ? Because it’s the food people crave. Why ? Because it is very good for you and the body knows it.

            People will always want meat and you pontificating ‘thou shalt not eat it for we can grow more protein per acre if you just have this bag of oats’ won’t change a thing.

            If growing beef with grain is an inefficient conversion, why do farmers do it ? They would be better off selling the grain whole to the market where people can buy their protein at a much lower rate because it hasn’t gone through that inefficient transformation.

            Meat is not just a simple amount of protein, it has many more things that make it worthy. It’s the true super food if ever there was one. Forget the protein comparison, no food can sustain you weight for weight like meat can. It is well know nowadays that grains are not that good for you, it’s kind of the latest thing.

            So I think the sale of wheaties from your farm might not be as popular as the beef from the next door farm.

            180

            • #

              Phillip, I don’t disagree. The topic was reducing meat consumption because of the benefits of doing so. I think it’s accepted the best diet is something like the Mediterranean diet, so mostly plant-based with some meat and dairy. The problem is far too much meat being consumed and the impacts from extensive land clearing, growing of feed crops and so on. I also happen to think welfare is important which is why I won’t eat chicken, pork or bacon which here in Australia comes from what I see as essentially cruel production systems.

              36

          • #
            robert rosicka

            Graeme wasn’t it the switch from a purely vegan existence to an omnivore one that separated us from the apes ?

            90

            • #

              Robert I don’t think so. Apes are omnivores too. I think humans tended to have higher animal content in their diets though, though depends on which humans where.

              11

            • #
              Mike Jonas

              Apes eat monkeys from time to time (well, some of them do http://www.whateats.com/what-eats-monkeys). Was that before or after we split from them? I suspect before, because we both have carnivore (dog) teeth, and it’s a bit more likely that these evolved just once not twice in separate lines. But in any case, apes eat smaller animals like insects, so apes are mostly not vegan at all. Humans are definitely not evolutionarily vegan, because humans cannot be sustained by a vegan diet (supplements are needed).

              70

            • #

              No… the common ancestor, as you might imagine is not pinpointed but it was an omnivore and certainly not an obligate carnivore (a rarity – I think this discussion has come up before).

              By the way, humans are apes so, “Apes are omnivores too”,and, “separated us from the apes”, don’t parse.

              47

            • #
              GreatAuntJanet

              I know it did me.

              10

          • #
            Binny Pegler

            Lot feed cattle only spend the last 60-100 days of a 750+ day life in the feed lot. Every steer in the feed lot has a mother and little brother/sister on ‘the range’. Without lot feeding it can take up to 1,400 days to produce the same carcass weight. Which also takes up space on ‘the range’ so less calves can be produced. Lot feeding/finishing is a VERY efficient way to produce beef…. Which is why it done, also the crops fed to livestock don’t meet human standards (which is why it’s fed livestock)

            30

        • #
          Sambar

          Ageed Annie, and as I have stated before, vegan lifestyles are the death of wildlife. Everything in a purely cereal/ veg/ fruit / fibre tree based system is the growers enemy.
          Soil fungi are a problem for many crops that are planted as seed, then birds that eat seeds, the small animals that eat young shoots, the larger animals that eat mature plants etc, etc, etc. The controls of any and everthing that reduces producion is the enemy and must not be tolerated. So as more and more land is required to grow anything all other living things are to be obliterated

          120

      • #
        another ian

        Wow! Looks like you bought the five course menu!

        10

    • #
      Ronin

      Correct

      10

    • #
      robert rosicka

      B nice , just so you know fertiliser is put on paddocks virtually every year to improve pasture for stock . Have spread tonnes of super phosphate etc over the years .

      30

    • #
      b.nice

      Just contacted an old friend from the Central west.

      He has some beef, some wool sheep and some crops.

      He said they only use fertiliser on their crops, by keeps it to a minimum by rotating lucerne every couple of years.

      30

      • #
        robert rosicka

        Some use little some use more and frequency can be erratic depending on soil type and sometimes farmer , property next to where I live gets lime every 2 years and fertiliser every 2 years , mate has a farm and uses fertiliser every other year on pastures or every year if locked up for hay . Dairy I worked on as a young bloke was every year with fertiliser. Point is all grass fed cattle but one had a feedlot of a couple hundred head .

        30

  • #
    PeterS

    Which begs the question why has the West embarked on a suicide mission? I know of several reasons, all of them associated with sinister ideologies.

    90

    • #

      Or more likely it’s just corruption. Self-serving behaviour becomes the norm, crooks go unpunished, and a phase change sweeps through a high-trust society. The suicide is more an accident of a civilization that runs out of discipline and self-belief.

      120

    • #
      PeterS

      Much of it is by design from sinister people, and much of it as you say is due to lack of discipline and self-belief, as well as misplaced trust in our leaders and so called official experts and scientists. It’s all of the above. Only naive people believe none of it is by design.

      50

  • #
    David Maddison

    Thanks to communist central planning much of that concrete may be mal-invested

    Yes. China has many empty “ghost cities”. Brand new cities that have been built by the commie “central planners” but never occupied.

    210

  • #
    Dave

    The big ones are

    Planes jets etc
    Phones Computers
    Coffee Machines
    Credit Cards

    Then what will the IPCC and Greenies do on weekends?

    330

    • #
      ColA

      Well, don’t vote for this nong in Nth Sydney, he can’t even read a tide chart!!

      https://twitter.com/i/status/1525633626859520000

      200

      • #
        William

        I have already voted in North Sydney. The challenge was which one to put last – it was hard to choose.

        310

      • #
        William

        And perhaps he should swim a bit further out and check the tide levels at Fort Denison. But why raise facts that contradict your religion.

        180

      • #
        Just+Thinkin'

        Well I’ll be blowed.

        All you have to do is keep moving out to sea and you have…

        CLIMATE CHANGE.

        Voila.

        110

      • #
        Gary S

        Not to worry – at that rate of sea level rise, he won’t make it to the election. Neither will we.

        60

      • #
        Deano

        Victor Kline would be good mates with Turnbull I’d say.

        10

    • #
      Annie

      Write letters to each other to arrange meetings?! Still need transport to deliver them and several weeks’ delivery time for letters.

      40

    • #

      Dave
      May 16, 2022 at 6:40 am · Reply
      The big ones are

      Planes jets etc
      Phones Computers
      Coffee Machines
      Credit Cards

      Ok ,..i am at a loss what you are referring to ??
      “Big ones” ..of what ?

      12

      • #
        Dave

        Jo, This link of Chads is a virus,

        Everyone ignore it.

        10

        • #

          Dave
          May 16, 2022 at 2:40 pm ·
          Jo, This link of Chads is a virus,

          Everyone ignore it.

          .??… i have not posted a link ..??
          ..and i still dont follow what you were trying to say in your first post !

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            b.nice

            Chad, there appears to be a link attached to your name next to your icon.

            See how it is in red while other are black.

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            • #
              Chad

              Ahh, ! .. i wondered why the red,..assumed it denoted i was “on line “
              It doesnt appear to go anywhere when i try to open it ( a “No server”message)
              I think i have found the cause… some characters in the profile web site box

              20

  • #
    Erasmus

    Climate change (nee global warming) is the ultimate wrecking ball against western civilisation. At American Thinker there’s a thoughtful piece suggesting a class action against the major pushers of it. The discovery phase would put the heat on the proponents to prove that their prognostications are anything more than guided algorithms. Scientifically the whole thing stinks.

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  • #
    John Hultquist

    Having followed the “ghost cities” for a few years, I hope they do something interesting with the rubble.
    Bulk waste is expensive to ship so I see large mounds growing where the buildings now are and left for future archeologists to investigate.

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    Peter Fitzroy

    So the logic is that we need fossil fuels to maintain our lifestyle.
    Therefore fossil fuels are good.
    Ergo we can ignore any downside like air quality (eg New Delhi, Beijing) or Increasingly severe droughts, heat waves, fires and floods.

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    • #
      Disco Stu

      Since fossil fuels are the reason for your improved lifestyle including air quality then yes, they do seem to be “good”.
      Are you suggesting that people go back to burning animal waste?
      And where is your evidence for “increasingly severe droughts, heat waves, fires and floods”?

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      Graeme#4

      As Lomborg, Koonin and others have pointed out, there are NO “increasingly severe droughts, heat waves, fires and floods”. Not sure about AR6, but AR5 expressed “low confidence” that any of these were occurring. If you have evidence to support your assertions, please share this with us.

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        Peter Fitzroy

        that is that is a complete misrepresentation of what Lomborg has said.

        from Lomborg.com, and in reference to the floods in Germany, wildfires in Greece “Global warming is real and it’s very likely that it does have an impact”

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          b.nice

          Yes, the globe has warmed. Thank goodness we are no longer in the depth of a Little Ice Age.

          But there is no evidence that CO2 has caused any of it.

          You keep proving that.

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          Graeme#4

          No it defintely is not Peter. And you have NOT provided any references for your baseless assertion.
          Look at Lomborg’s recent article inThe Australian, 7th May, “Crunching the numbers on climate alarmism”. Or the 10 September 2021 article in The Australian: “The world is getting safer from floods”.
          Then look at Section 4 of his book, “False Alarm”, titled: “Extreme Weather or Extreme Exaggeration?” Read the ENTIRE section, in particular Figures 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3, showing decreasing floods, wildfires and hurricanes in the U.S. Then come back and tell me that what I am paraphrasing him is wrong.

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      Forrest Gardener

      PF you really are no good at this propaganda stuff.

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      Philip

      Peter what will you do if you succeed and make the world perfectly sustainable so people survive in 1000s of years to come, and then global temperature average increases ? Do you plan to control the climate so as to defeat the natural warming process that is bound to occur at some stage ?

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      Deano

      Well, converting the worlds fleet of internal combustion engine vehicles over to electric will require strip mining most of the planet to scavenge the materials required. Not very green eh!

      60

  • #
    David Maddison

    Notice how the Left are already at war against all those pillars of civilisation?

    -cement (more correctly concrete, the form of cement with aggregate as used as a building material). The Left are promoting smaller buildings and dwellings and apartment complexes rather than traditional family homes and smaller “compact cities” and working at home. Thus less use of concrete and materials in general. e.g. Agenda 2030. Concrete use for the massive foundations of windmills doesn’t count.

    steel – less use as mentioned above due to smaller buildings and less overall consumption in general. Also the bizarre fantasy that “green” steel can be ecomically produced via direct reduction of iron ore by hydrogen plus hydrogen as a heating agent. (What could possibly go wrong…?) Steel use for windmills doesn’t count.

    plastics – there is already a war by the Left against plastic bags and packaging and plastics in general. Every conservative I know had multiple uses for supermarket plastic bags before they were banned (in Australia) and also disposed of other plastics in the waste stream. It’s only the Left that called plastic bags “single use”. And most Leftists are too stupid to understand most of their clothes are plastic based and even their pink, blue and green hair colourings are hydrocarbon based.

    ammonia – as a basis of fertiliser, the Left are already at war with the food supply. E.g. they want to replace farm animal protein with insect protein, at least for the plebs. I guarantee you they won’t be serving insects at Climate Conference feasts or on the private jet flights into such conferences, rather they will serve the finest steaks. Just Google “insect protein” without quote marks. The change is already happening. We couldn’t feed the current world population without fertilisers (except for nitrogen-fixing plants such as used to feed some tasty animals and certain food crops).
    At this link the UN advocates insect protein. https://news.un.org/en/story/2013/05/439432

    And let’s not forget, the Left are at war against enlightenment values and Western civilisation itself.

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      David Maddison

      I forgot to mention the huge quantities of unrecyclable plastics used in windmill blades. It all ends up in massive landfill burials after the windmill has served its short and unproductive life.

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      Forrest Gardener

      What ever happened to the Luddites?

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        David Maddison

        Breaking machinery was made a capital.offence and troops shot many and others were deported….to Australia…

        https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/candp/punishment/g09/g09cs1.htm#:~:text=From%201787%20to%201857%2C%20162%2C000,Tolpuddle%20Martyrs%20and%20Irish%20Nationalists.

        From 1787 to 1857, 162,000 British convicts were transported to Australia. Seven out of eight of these were males; some were as young as nine or ten; some were over eighty. Many political prisoners were transported, including Luddites, Chartists, the Tolpuddle Martyrs and Irish Nationalists.

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        Bruce

        They got steady jobs in factories?

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        Ian

        “What ever happened to the Luddites?”

        They haven’t gone far. Just look around. I think they’re now called Conservatives.

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        • #
          PeterS

          I think you mean the neocons.

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          el+gordo

          Very amusing but wrong headed, its the Greens who want us to return to preindustrial times.

          ‘At the behest of factory owners, the British Parliament declared machine breaking a capital offense and sent 14,000 troops to the English countryside to put down the uprising. Dozens of Luddites were executed or exiled to Australia.’

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          b.nice

          No Ian, the real Luddites are the unthinking “followers” of the putrid, anti-society, anti-human, degenerate, regressive, totalitarian, control agendas that the left keep bombarding society with.

          That would be people like you. You and your kind will be the destruction of society from within.

          But you are too blind, gullible and brain-washed in thoughtless “belief” to see this.

          If western civilisation survives this assault, it will be because some conservative rational thinkers were able to hold the day.

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      Philip

      well it depends who you are arguing against ? If against logging the green says use steel and cement for telegraph poles. If against cement and steel, they say use wood. The greens recently revealed their plan is to build city buildings of wood to lower their emissions count. No signs of awareness of hypocrisy was detected.

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      another ian

      DM

      There is a cartoon doing the rounds which shows a paper straw in a plastic wrap

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    Old Cocky

    That seems to be gilding the lily.
    While plastics and ammonia are based on hydrocarbon feedstock, and steel production needs coke as a reducing agent, cement only needs large quantities of energy to be available during the entire dehydration stage.

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    • #
      Eng_Ian

      Of course, the mining, refining and crushing of the feedstock could be completed with solar vehicles. I’ve seen electric powered mining equipment, huge extension leads from source to consumer. And most of the ball and sag mills are electric powered, I can think of no other way of getting a MW drive near to the gear train without using electricity, steam might work but it doesn’t seem to be the chosen solution.

      And of course, you can calcine the cement feedstock using an electric furnace, I’m just wondering how you do that with a rotating kiln requiring a 1000 degree temperature to complete the process. With gas, you just inject a flame into the end of the kiln along the long axis of the inclined kiln, venting at the high end. In a 40m long kiln, say 3m diameter, how do you get the electric arc to run from one end to the other? I’d like to see that.

      So yes, electricity can be used but where do you get it from, 24 hours a day, every day. Batch production is not going to fly, refractory linings fail often if the temperature is cycled by using solar. The last time I looked, burning the gas directly in the kiln was very efficient at heating the feedstock, certainly much better than burning gas in a generator then shipping the electricity around the country till it arrived at the mill.

      And technically, you can make ammonia using air and water and electricity if you really wanted to waste a lot of power to generate the hydrogen. There is a reason this isn’t done, it’s called cost.

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        Old Cocky

        Thanks. That’s reduced my level of ignorance regarding cement production.

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        robert rosicka

        Yes the Mills at Warrego were electric but that electricity came from massive diesel power generators.

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      Ronin

      I think crumbed tyres were being trialled as a fuel for cement production.

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    • #
      ozfred

      {quote}steel production needs coke as a reducing agent{}
      This is one of the imponderables of the whole transition process to renewable energy.
      Please note I remain skeptical that a successful transition remains “ill-defined”.
      However, if the installation of the massive number of solar panels can be financially “justified”, any excess power over the distribution network can theoretically be used to generate “very cheap/free” hydrogen.
      Research continues on the ability to use hydrogen gas a reduction agent in place of the coke.
      We live in “interesting times”.
      I think I am too old to see the eventual outcome.

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    Honk R Smith

    Civilization causes climate change.
    Ask a college student.
    Or a college professor.
    Ask that Australian guy in that political ad where the seawater rises and covers him up.
    Poor sods will miss civilization when it’s gone.
    If they survive.
    Build back better.

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    Penguinite

    Give me fossil fuels, not fanatical Green Fossil Fools! One simple question to ask is, if solar and wind were so great and superior why are the world’s two largest populations, China and India, still digging up and burning coal and gas to generate the essential electricity necessary for their respective citizenry to prosper.

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    John Galt

    While the “experts” insist that hydrocarbon fuels are the remains of fossils, that is only an unproven hypothesis.
    No one has proven this, nor has it been proven that the source of hydrocarbon fuel is limited to such fossils.
    To avoid such propaganda, use the term hydrocarbon fuels, not fossil fuels.

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      Old Cocky

      Hydrocarbon rules out coal.

      I won’t touch the other argument with a barge pole.

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      David Maddison

      The abiogenic hypothesis of hydrocarbon (oil and gas) production on earth is not widely supported although it is probable that there are some very small deposits of such origin. Hydrocarbons formed abiogenicaly on the outer planets.

      But, we on the right side of life don’t see the correct scientific theory as what is the most popular but the one that is most correct. One day more evidence might be found to support the abiogenic hypothesis.

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      Hasbeen

      Titan. has hydrocarbon lakes, & it is highly they were formed from composting trees or dinosaurs.

      I think it came from the same source as ours, gathered as the planet was formed.

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      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Has been:
        ? Dinosaurs on Titan? Of course, I wondered about that name Titanosaurs.

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  • #
    Double on Tundra

    I think the alarmists are campaigning hard against comfort, food security, independence and western values. Their policies result in misery, hunger, dependence and violence.

    What amazes me is how successful they have been in making the general public feel virtuous while actually supporting evil. That’s — what’s the right word — downright diabolical.

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    • #
      Ted1

      Yes. But really, what they are campaigning against is people.

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      David Maddison

      Evil is the right word Double on Tundra.

      Most Leftists are useful/useless idiots who don’t have a clue but that slave army is lead by some truly evil people who know exactly what they are doing.

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      • #
        PADRE

        Yes, and the evil is compounded by stupidity, wilful ignorange and poor leadership. This is becoming increasingly apparent in the UK where ever more people are having to choose between food and the energy upon which they depend for everyday living.

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      Binny Pegler

      That has been religion 101 – forever. I’ve no idea why, but it works. In every corner of the planet for the full cause of human history.

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  • #
    Neville

    Thanks to Vaclav Smil for the Time article and of course he’s correct and others like Lomborg etc have been quoting “these inconvenient” truths for decades.
    But the other inconvenient truths are the rapid population increase + the rapid increase in life expectancy + wealth etc over the last 50 years.
    Nothing about their clueless BS and FRA-D makes sense and yet we’re told we must embrace the crazy, TOXIC, UNRELIABLE S & W disasters and risk our industries and jobs for NOTHING.
    How can intelligent people believe their stupid propaganda when the worldwide data tells us the true story?
    So where is their so called EXISTENTIAL THREAT since 1970, yet the population has more than doubled and life expectancy has increased by 16.5 years and wealth has also increased?
    Have western countries now lost the critical ability to follow the data and think for ourselves?
    To finish, why have deaths from extreme weather events dropped by 95% since 1900 while our population has soared from 1.7 billion to 7.9 billion in 2022?

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    Ted1

    Neville, there’s a stat you have missed.

    The fertility rate.

    Check it out. You’ll be stunned.

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    • #
      Neville

      Yes Ted 1, I’ve linked to the global fertility rate a number of times and Elon Musk is also concerned about this in recent talks.
      Our global fertility rate has been dropping since the 1960s and the UN data projects this will continue to fall until 2100.
      But Africa is the modern miracle since 1970 with population and life expectancy increasing rapidly, although they’ve they’ve also suffered from Malaria and HIV/AIDs disasters as well.
      This proves again that our very benign climate has been as good as it gets for Humans over the last 50 years.

      https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/WLD/world/fertility-rate

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    Rick

    The good thing about a possible post-apocalypse in which fossil fuels are non existent, which seems to be the end game of the duck-squeezers, is thinking about those most likely to survive for any length of time.
    Those most likely to survive long-term are the current jungle or desert dwellers who live a subsistence lifestyle, for the simple reason that they already need very little technology and know how to find scarce food and water in harsh environments.
    The pampered whimps now occupying the leafy green inner cities will be the first casualties and most of them will be dead within a month of the collapse of the civilisation they are working so hard to destroy.

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      Old Cocky

      One of the things which sticks in my mind from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” is while they were having some repairs made in a small country town. The observation was that country people appreciated the technology, but were the most able to survive without it.

      That was written in the 1970s and farming has a higher technology input now, but that’s something which has stayed with me.

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      Chris

      Rick, you can and the Israelis to your list. In year 10 the Israeli students are taken out into the desert for a few weeks and taught survival skills. Perhaps it something we should all invest some time and energy in learning and practising.

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    Neville

    AGAIN here’s the global infant mortality rate since 1950- 146.7 per thousand live births and in 2022- has dropped to just 26.7 per thousand live births.
    So why do we ignore this important data about our world?

    https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/WLD/world/infant-mortality-rate

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    • #
      Ian

      “So why do we ignore this important data about our world?”

      Perhaps because “we” whoever “we” are do not want to face reality.

      According to the UN the fall in neonatal and infant mortality rates is due to improvements in prenatal and postnatal care, declines in infectious diseases, improved sanitation, drug development, mass vaccination and improvements in birth conditions

      The “we” who comment here are hardly likely to acknowledge the very positive role “BigPharma” has played and still does play in the decreasing mortality rates in neonates and infants and indeed in all of us

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        Neville

        Yes Ian and we’ve also had a very benign climate to support us for a very long time.
        And our health improvements etc have been possible because of our use of fossil fuels that have underpinned everything we’ve gained over the last 100 years.
        Just look up the data and THINK.

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        • #
          Ian

          Yes Ian and we’ve also had a very benign climate to support us for a very long time.
          “Just look up the data and THINK”

          I did that’s why I wrote in the context of increasing longevity “in prenatal and postnatal care, declines in infectious diseases, improved sanitation, drug development, mass vaccination and improvements in birth conditions’

          All of these particularly clean water and improved sanitation played a larger role in longevity than did the climate

          I also did some more thinking

          If the climate, which, as you say, has been very benign for such a very long time, plays such a prominent role in our longevity, why has the life expectancy in virtually every country in the world regularly increased and is still increasing regularly? Obviously it isn’t due to climate change as the climate has remained very benign.
          Similarly, why does life expectancy vary in bordering countries that have the same climate? For example life expectancy in Belarus is 75 but in Russia only 71 while in Poland, which borders both Russia and Belarus, it is 78.

          You also write
          And our health improvements etc have been possible because of our use of fossil fuels that have underpinned everything we’ve gained over the last 100 years.”

          I agree some of our improvements have been due to our use of fossil fuels, but neither our health or our longevity is one of them.

          “The burning of fossil fuels is the world’s largest contributor to air pollution and is a major global public health concern. It releases a wide array of harmful pollutants, including particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and other hazardous air pollutants. The health effects of breathing polluted air include reduced lung function, asthma, cardiovascular disease, preterm birth, and premature death.. Generally, older people are more susceptible to premature death due to air pollution while children are especially vulnerable to asthma and impaired lung function development.”

          Air pollution, predominantly from burning fossil fuels, reduces worldwide average life expectancy by nearly three years. If fossil fuel emissions were completely eliminated, the global average life expectancy would increase by 1.1 years.
          https://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/state-impact/projects-reports/projects/climate-and-health/health-effects-of-burning-fossil-fuels

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            Geoff Sherrington

            Ian
            You quote materials like O3, NO2, SO2, Hg. You say that these are emitted during fossil fuel consumption. So far, so good, but what of the next step, getting such materials into the human body in such forms, over such times, in such doses that harm will be caused.
            You failed the shift from general armwaving to meaningful particulars. Mercury, Hg, for example, is something interesting that we played with as teenagers. A metal, liquid at room temperature, we each had tens of grams that we ran through our fingers and so on. Then we made mercury fulminate to learn chemical synthesis, making a material known to be harmful, so we were better educated about harm. For Hg to harm on global scale, it needs to be in high concentration, close to the person and exposed often. Like the rare Minimata case in history decades ago. Hg hazard is now under control and not a global threat.
            SO2, sulphur dioxide, as a gas is an important plant nutrition material. Plants die when there is not enough sulphur available. Atmospheric levels would need to be 1,000 times higher than now before people could even smell it. In 1974, wife, 2 young ankle biters and self moved to Mount Morgan, Qld, for a year and lived 250 metres from the copper smelter that belched tonnes a day of SO2 into the air, causing us to cough a little when we got a strong wiff. But, no identified harm was detected in us or in the thousands of people who lived there most of their lives. As a global threat, it does not figure, so why mention it?
            Same with particulates. Not much global evidence of harm from PM2.5, just a lot of special pleading. Ditto nitrogen oxides.
            As a scientist involved in uranium and radiation since the 1960s, I have watched the growth of alarmism, most of it the invention of juvenile minds, sadly helped by excellent developments in ways to measure radioactivity, allowing ignorati to find threats of harm in ever more unlikely places. If scintillation detectors were 1,000 times less sensitive, we would have been spared a deluge of bullshit.
            So, Ian, just look at actual harm, not imagined harm.
            Better still, just stick to your knitting.
            Geoff S

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              Graeme No.3

              Geoff:
              Archeoligists use mercury levels in ancient ice to date Roman times (they had big mines in Spain).

              Part of the problem is the accuracy/detection of substances. I recall when a Technical Director told me that the latest health scare on canned soft drinks was serious. He had worked out that if the (protective) lining on cans of Coca Cola were to be decomposed by the contents (and rendered soluble and absorbed by humans**) that it would take 785,000 cans of soft drink a year to be a problem. My tentative suggestion that this wasn’t a problem was dismissed with “the previous scares erquired over 3 million cans of soft drink a year. This might be serious”.

              ** 40+ years of no evidence that this happened and that extracting Bisphenol A from epoxy resins requires concentrated Hydroiodic acid at 120℃.

              30

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            b.nice

            “our improvements have been due to our use of fossil fuel, but neither our health or our longevity is one of them.”

            Fossil fuels have been, and still are, paramount to the implementation, manufacture, and delivery of all the items that allow us to live longer healthier lives.

            NONE of these advancements would have happened without fossil fuels.

            You try living without fossil fuels….. see how long your health and longevity last.

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      • #
        b.nice

        “do not want to face reality.”

        Yes, Ian, we have notice that reality is diametrically opposed to your idiotology.

        40

  • #
    Ross

    Maybe Time magazine isn’t the dud magazine that I thought it was. At least this information is coming from the MSM and not being pointed out by someone who could be tagged as a climate denier or an “anti climma”. Unfortunately, if you want to grow those big C4 crops like Corn you need LOTS of nitrogen. Some of those nitrogen needs could be replaced by different crop rotations utilising legumes but not all. Wheat – not so badly affected, mostly thanks to the development of the dwarf wheats last century. One of the most N hungry crops that we grow in Australia is Canola. So, yields of canola could also suffer if fertiliser was in short supply. Or you could just use lots of manure. Lots and lots of manure. If anyone want to see an example of how reversing technology in modern farming goes, look at Sri Lanka. Last week an angry mob dumped a lot of politicians cars into a river. They were protesting huge increases in food and living costs thanks to some dimwitted policy of forcing all their farmers to go organic. Yikes.

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    Ronin

    The two biggest polluters are also the two biggest breeders of excess humans, let’s start there first and we’ll see how that goes.

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    Neville

    I suppose we should link to Willis Eschenbach’s “Where’s the Emergency” post from WUWT AGAIN.
    He quotes many data sources and I’ve never seen any of his claims seriously refuted by contrary data.
    Dr Christy also used most of Willis’s links and he also included more data about their lack of a so called HOT SPOT over the Equator.
    Antarctica hasn’t warmed for 70 years and for the entire satellite period. See UAH V 6.
    The Artic has shown the fastest rate of warming but this has followed the warm phase AMO and this could start to cool by 2030. Who knows, but Dr Curry seems to think it is a possibility.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/25/wheres-the-emergency/

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    Mark Allinson

    “The four pillars of civilization all require fossil fuels, and more of them”

    Exactly.

    Which is why the Globalist Left must ban them.

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    Neville

    Our climate has been as good as it could be since 1970, YET some silly fools believe that wealthy countries should be compensating poorer countries because of this wonderful benign climate. Anyone not understand this lunacy?
    Eric Worrall is correct and even dopey Biden has had to rein in his idiotic ideas for a while.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/05/14/npr-joe-biden-paused-his-climate-promises-because-of-ukraine/

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      OldOzzie

      The USA owes nothing to developing countries. Even the poorest nations use mobile phones, and other technologies mostly developed by Britain and the USA, to improve their lives. Poor fishermen in Africa use mobile phones to find the best market for their catch. People earning a few dollars a day in the Philippines pay pennies to get a lift on gasoline powered vehicles. Electricity for refrigeration, which mostly comes from fossil fuel powered generators, is a game changer for poor people who have access. Mass produced textbooks and the internet have improved lives, employment prospects and incomes throughout the world.

      All this quality of life boosting technology is only available because of that industrial revolution NPR despises so much.

      If the leaders of developing countries want to build their people a sea wall, or other “climate” mitigation public works, they should get off their butts and organise the construction of their own civic works projects, using their own materials and resources, instead of expecting the USA or other rich countries to enable their kleptocratic incompetence by parachuting in crate loads of cash to solve all their money problems.

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    OldOzzie

    Sunday Talks, Finland President Sauli Niinistö Indicates a Global Cleaving Behind Decision to Join NATO

    May 15, 2022 – Sundance

    Two world groupings. One group, oil-based energy (traditional, grey on map below), and one group GREEN energy (the build back better plan, yellow on map). It is not accidental these two groups hold similar internal geopolitical views and perspectives, hence, their alignment or lack thereof with the sanctions against Russia.

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    RoHa

    “the resulting cast iron is made into steel in large basic oxygen furnaces”

    But don’t we extract that oxygen by a sutainable process involving soy beans and jojoba?

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  • #

    This is actually on topic regarding the importance of fossil fuels.

    There’s perhaps one advantage of Labor taking over as the Federal Government.

    Sometime within these next three years, the grid will become exceedingly stressed. (Huh! It’s almost there now)

    There’s going to have to be a choice.

    If they start closing just one more coal fired power plant ….. AFTER Liddell, then the grid will most probably fail.

    The choice will be.

    Allow the grid to go black often, introduce draconian load shedding, and here, that will be vast swathes of Residential housing, and NOT Business of Industry. (think of the jobs here) Or they have to keep those coal fired power plants open, and let the grid struggle along, because even then it will be a struggle.

    Grid black and extensive load shedding – Just imagine the chaos, the uproar, and the backlash (as well as the Political backlash) if that is even considered, let alone allowed to happen.

    Or the have to explain EXACTLY WHY those coal fired power plants need to remain open, and this will quite obviously be the lesser of those evils.

    So, within the term of this next Federal Government, someone from high up in Labor is going to HAVE TO explain just why those coal fired plants need to stay open.

    Either way, there’s going to be a lot of very unhappy politicians, and an even greater amount of ordinary people wondering why they were not told earlier than when that explanation finally arrives.

    The Liberals and Nationals will swipe a hand across their forehead – Phew! That was a lucky break. Rather them than us. But they will be just as much to blame, just that they were not in power when that straw finally breaks the camels back.

    There will also be people not really willing to let those politicians off the hook either, hitting home with questions about why those politicians never even tried to find out the truth. There might not be anywhere to hide when those questions get asked.

    Fossil Fuels – Can’t live without them ….. literally!

    Tony.

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      Philip

      Time to buy a decent generator, let’s face it.

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        b.nice

        Reminds me of when I went to Tocal Field day recently.

        Got talking to some guys selling generators..

        All 4 of them where firmly in the realist camp.

        We had a great conversation, and we made sure we spoke a bit louder and made a pertinent anti-AGW statements when some “obviously woke” people walked by. 🙂

        Did we ever get some dirty looks. 🙂

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      David Maddison

      If they start closing just one more coal fired power plant ….. AFTER Liddell, then the grid will most probably fail.

      That’s what’s going to have to happen Anthony because those in power are clueless and surrounded by “experts” who are sycophants or clueless or both and are unable or unwilling to state the truth.

      Those who do know what’s going to happen, such as most on this blog are powerless to do anything about it and just get told we are “ignorant tin foil hat conspiracy theorists” and “racist” and “white” as well not to mention any of the other standard insults from Leftists.

      We really do have very little hope. The only decent leader the West had in recent times was Trump and look how that ended for him. Australia has not had a decent leader for many decades.

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      Ross

      “..Sometime within these next three years, the grid will become exceedingly stressed. (Huh! It’s almost there now)”. Already happened. A couple of years in Victoria there was a hot week in late January and 1 coal generator was down. (Maintenance etc). The biggest users eg Alcoa, VIVA energy + others were told to shut down by the government and the whole state went through rolling outages. But the Labor govt called them “managed outages” which gives the perception that they have things under control. Then blamed the unreliability of coal for the problem. There’s your test case right there – already happened.

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        Kalm Keith

        Devastation is so unimportant when it’s someone else who’s copping it.

        Trouble is for a business like Tomago Aluminium an outage can cost millions and that’s not “sustainable”.

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      b.nice

      “just that they were not in power when that straw finally breaks the camels back.”

      Last straw ??

      Lab Green will squish that camel with a steamroller !

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      KevJ

      If they start closing just one more coal fired power plant ….. AFTER Liddell, then the grid will most probably fail.

      Ah.. yes.. “The blackout we had to have”..

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    Philip

    The self loathing is astonishing. Anything that produces is bad. Classic environmentalism, you have to give it that at least.

    Why do they hate so much ? Do you think there are evil intended people at globalist left HQ plotting it all for pure evil intent, or are people just that stupid they always fear the apocalypse, are they just gullible, well intended but gullible ?

    I believe people are instinctual, and their instinct is doom, which is quite correct in that the sun is gonna blow baby, there is no future, so they’re ultimately correct, but irrational in their application of this instinctual anxiety.

    So yeah I think people are just stupid. And then there are those who are manipulating it with an eye to cashing in, of course, another great instinct.

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  • #
    Brian the Engineer

    It struck me the other day that the demographics of CCP’s China is that the population will halve by 2050. It looks like all of the housing they have built won’t have anyone to occupy it. Similarly for Global warming, have they factored in the world ever decreasing birth rate. It is getting close to going below the replacement rate. Makes a mockery of all of the climate models.

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    • #

      have they factored in the world ever decreasing birth rate

      yes

      Makes a mockery of all of the climate models.

      no

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    • #
      David Maddison

      Brian, it doesn’t need that to make a mockery of the climate “models”. They do that perfectly by themselves. Not a single one is validated or is able to forecast, or even hindcast when the result is known.

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      Simon

      That is the purpose of the RCP scenarios.

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      • #
        b.nice

        RCP 2.6 is still above real global temperatures..

        CO2 emissions are nowhere near the low levels of RCP 2.6

        The whole gamet of farcical models are a complete failure.

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        David Maddison

        Simon, models should have some connection to physical reality and be validated to be a correct representation of what they are meant to be modelling. Unless they can do that they shouldn’t even be presented as models.

        All that’s been produced so far are computer programs that draw colourful scary graphs of imminent climate catastrophe, no matter what their inputs.

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        • #
          another ian

          DM

          As my simulation course lecturer ca. 1974 said “You only need data if you are trying to make your model realistic”

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  • #
    MichaelinBrisbane

    Vaclav Smil’s book “How The World Really Works” is a very studious effort and quite thought provoking.
    This Time Magazine article is just the key points of the first 4 chapters.

    Sadly, for all the effort he put into it, I’m disappointed that in the later chapters he bangs on about the need to reduce CO2 to save us from Klimate Change.
    I thought, surely, among all his references (listed in 70 pages) he might have tripped over some contradiction to this politically correct/woke propaganda.
    Bill Gates and the Guardian recommend the book. Is that why?

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    • #
      Ross

      He’s probably like Bjorn Lomborg – who also believes in AGW or man made climate change. Does that to stay in the discussion. If both were climate realists, their funding would dry up and they would be shunned. Such are the dangers of academia.

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    Ronin

    They are models, they are BS, reminds one of two vehicular tunnels built in Brisbane a few years ago, all the models predicted that x number of vehicles would pay to use the tunnels daily, comes to the actual usage of the tunnels, the usage factor was x -10.

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  • #
    John Connor II

    Lessee now…

    Take the typical CAT 994H earthmover.
    They’re those giant mining machines you may have seen that would flatten a D7 dozer.

    They consume around 8,000 litres of go-juice in a 12 hour shift.
    This machine needs to excavate 1.2 thousand tonnes of earth to obtain the minerals needed for a single EV battery.
    Assuming they work 365 days but ignoring multiple shifts; that’s 2.9 million litres of fuel PER CAT.
    Now factor in countless CATs, all the mines using them, all the other fossil fuel powered equipment, the number of intended EVs, EV battery recycling ability, the EV waste crisis, the available mineral resources and the pollution involved in mining.

    Then put all that info in a big green (reply-paid 😅) envelope and send it to The Greens.

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  • #
    FrankH

    But apart from cement, steel, plastics, and ammonia, what have fossil fuels ever done for us?

    I’m reminded of the Dunlop advert from 1977: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztnIwu5aM7g

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  • #
    Neville

    AGAIN here’s Dr Rosling’s BBC video of the REAL world from 1810 to 2010 and his team plotted 120,000 data points to make it.
    It starts at his poor and sick lower left corner and ends with most OECD countries near the top right corner and many more developing countries catching up.
    This takes just 5 minutes to watch and yet we still have delusional donkeys yapping about EXISTENTIAL climate threats to Humans.
    In fact the reverse is true, just add the 4.2 billion since 1970 and yet everyone today ( 7.9 bn) is healthier and wealthier than 52 years ago.
    Just check the data and evidence.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

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  • #
    Simon

    Let’s challenge this thesis by exploring some alternatives.
    1 & 2. Heard of wood? Carbon neutral and much more pleasant to look at. Multi-level buildings are straight-forward with engineered wood products, some engineering codes need reviewing. Timber buildings handle earthquakes much better than concrete and stone. Buildings can be pre-fabricated so go up much faster. There are some good examples in Australia if you know where to look.
    3. See above. Admittedly still a work in progress.
    4. Repeatedly applying fertiliser is, by definition, not a sustainable activity. Try crop rotation so that nutrients are replaced. Alternatively, plant crops with less nutrient demand, genetic engineering can help here.

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    • #
      Dave

      Sounds good Simon!

      Where do I put the fire for cooking?

      And what about the power cord for my soy bean camel breeders fruit infused latte?

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    • #
      b.nice

      “Multi-level buildings are straight-forward with engineered wood products”

      Please point me to a 50 story wooden building.

      And think of the huge amounts of trees that would have to be cut down (Pseudo-Greens don’t care.. so long as its for “the cause”)

      Buildings can be pre-fabricated so go up much faster.

      Many smaller commercial building are now built this way.. using preformed concrete.

      “Try crop rotation so that nutrients are replaced”

      They already do. Except where they can’t.

      —–

      So, nothing new from Simon..

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      David Maddison

      Simon, are you aware of how much pollution would be generated if everyone cooked and heated with wood? And where would you get all that wood?

      There is a good reason wood was abandoned as soon as gas and electricity became available.

      Tragically, you sound like the 19-25 year old product of a fully woke “education” system.

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      • #
        Simon

        I didn’t say anything about burning wood. It might pay to actually read first.

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        • #
          paul courtney

          The article specifically spoke of how concrete and steel are manufactured using heat to make the 18 story buildings that won’t fall over. You propose to make 18 story wood buildings without burning anything? Do you know how nails are made? Or is your 18 story wood building all mortise and tenon?

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        • #
          David Maddison

          Then what do you expect people to cook Nd heat with? Or do you want the non-Elites to freeze in the dark?

          Under full-scale unreliables power will be extremely expensive and highly rationed and certainly not available for “luxuries” like heating.

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        • #

          You are aware of the current situation of timber supplies for building i assume ?
          World wide shortages, and that is just for simple lightweight framing , studding, trusses, etc, not high performance structural beams !
          Supply vs demand would make serious amounts of timber for mass construction, a financial impossibility.

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        • #
          Gary S

          After the Grenfell tower fire in the U.K., authorities around the world began to look seriously at the standards for fire retardant cladding. Including here in Victoria. Some products are now banned from importation. Don’t know how a wooden tower would get past that hurdle.

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        • #
          Richard C (NZ)

          Simon >”I didn’t say anything about burning wood”

          Fonterra’s gungho on it:

          Fonterra’s Te Awamutu site moves to pellet power [2021]

          https://www.fonterra.com/nz/en/our-stories/media/fonterras-te-awamutu-site-moves-to-pellet-power.html

          Except the wood pellets are trucked – by diesel power – from the Nature’s Flame site in Taupo to Te Awamutu. And diesel power back empty.

          Meanwhile NIWA says burning wood is unhealthy too:

          Why cutting greenhouse gases also improves our health

          Various fuels (such as coal, oil, petrol or wood) are burned in power stations; cars, trucks and ships; and boilers and stoves – to make electricity, for transport or for cooking and heating. When they are burned, they release carbon dioxide into the air, along with many other, often toxic chemicals.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/128654260/why-cutting-greenhouse-gases-also-improves-our-health

          There is this of course:

          Big Bend’s Multi-Unit SCR Retrofit [2010]

          Tampa Electric will soon complete a comprehensive selective catalytic reduction project on all four units at its Big Bend Power Station that will make Big Bend among the cleanest coal plants in the U.S. The project — the centerpiece of the company’s 10-year, $1.2 billion air quality improvement program — is on schedule to meet all of its air quality improvement goals by mid-2010.

          https://www.powermag.com/big-bends-multi-unit-scr-retrofit/

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        • #
          Kalm Keith

          Wooden you know it.

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      • #
        Kalm Keith

        And he will always be that “19-25 year old product”.

        Just don’t step in it.

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    • #
      another ian

      Hmmm!

      Engineered wood

      https://mtcopeland.com/blog/what-is-engineered-wood/

      Where are the non fossil fuel based and non-carbon resins and glues coming from?

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      Ronin

      An 18 story wooden building would become your funeral pyre when a 2022 Tesla or equivalent caught fire while parked in the car park, how do you intend making an 18 story timber building fire safe.

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      another ian

      Remember the FW 154 – the German Mosquito?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Ta_154_Moskito

      How to wreck an aircraft program?

      Bomb the factory? No – bomb the glue factory.

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    another ian

    A late entry

    “Renowned scientist says Australia could already be at “net-zero”

    https://www.beefcentral.com/news/renowned-scientist-says-australia-could-already-be-at-net-zero/

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  • #
    David Maddison

    At “Net Zero”, Australia’s economy will also be a zero.

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  • #
    Neville

    Good data from Dr Bill Burrows and thanks for the link another Ian.
    And the CSIRO agrees with him and in fact they claim that the entire SH is already a co2 net SINK.

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  • #
    Neville

    The seat of Kooyong was featured on the news tonight and the ignorance displayed was mind boggling.
    The so called independent candidate Monique Ryan claimed that a vote for her was “a vote to take action on climate change”.
    And a young woman also told us that she was “voting for a new climate” and looked stupid enough to believe her silly nonsense.
    I only hope that Josh Frydenberg can hold his seat, although he’s pushing the climate agenda as well.

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  • #
    Senex

    Let’s add glass to the list. In fact, every large-scale manufacturing process that requires heat is dependent on combustion.

    Another key material, aluminium refining is dependent on a continuous, reliable supply of megawatts of electricity, which is why refineries are built close to large, baseline generating stations – not solar or wind sites. Furthermore, the geochemistry of aluminium ore (bauxite) means that most large ore sources are found in tropical surface deposits, in locations where there is a lack of large scale reliable electricity generation. Consequently, aluminium production is dependent on bulk shipment by sea of bauxite from tropical locations to refineries in temperate countries. Unless we return to the days of sailing ships, or there is a massive adoption of nuclear power for bulk cargo ships, aluminium production will also be indirectly dependent on fossil fuels.

    As for electric vehicles, how far can they travel on a full charge without hydrocarbon-based lubrication, tyres or insulation, and on dirt roads paved with neither asphalt nor fossil fuel-dependent concrete?

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    • #
      another ian

      I suppose glass would be allowable as the product is “carbon free”

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      • #
        Senex

        I worked once at a large glass container plant. It used huge amounts of natural gas to produce the melt.

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    • #
      Richard C (NZ)

      Senex >”…aluminium production will also be indirectly dependent on fossil fuels”

      Exactly. Tiwai Point smelter at the bottom of NZ is a case in point:

      Rio Tinto says it wants to delay closure of Tiwai Point Smelter [past 2024]
      https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/rio-tinto-wants-to-keep-tiwai-point-smelter-past-2024-closure-date/

      “With a global strategy focused on decarbonisation and growth (released in October last year) Rio Tinto does see a positive pathway for New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS) to continue operating and contributing to the local and national economies beyond 2024,” NZAS chief executive Chris Blenkiron said.

      >”aluminium production is dependent on bulk shipment by sea of bauxite from tropical locations to refineries in temperate countries”

      And the finished product is shipped out around the world too.

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      • #

        We are digging up Bauxite here in WA, but there are no Aluminium Smelters left in Australia. Rio should call Alcoa? 🙂

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      • #
        Senex

        Oh, and the electrodes used in aluminium refineries are solid carbon, and get consumed in the process.

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  • #

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/whats-next-former-russian-president-warns-wests-self-harming-sanctions-mean-collapse
    “What’s Next”: Former Russian President Warns West’s “Self-Harming” Sanctions Mean “Collapse Of US-Centric World”

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    Senex

    There is also a lot of media and political BS around about plans for “green” “zero carbon” steel production using hydrogen. What they really mean is the initial production of iron from iron ore. Most steel contains from a few tenths of a percent up to two percent carbon as a necessary component.

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