Imagine if you could accept not having everything

This is electricity generation in Germany in 2022. We see that just over 40% comes from fossil fuels. Another 9% comes from biomass, which is typically non-renewable for all practical purposes. The rest is low carbon. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s what the pessimist sees:

Everything depends on fossil fuel and nuclear again at night and during winter! In other words, you can’t run the grid on renewable electricity!

Implicit here is the assumption, that electricity should always be available, at any moment we desire it. The reality is that we would probably be better off if it wasn’t always available. Would humanity be worse off or better off, if you couldn’t play video games at 2AM? And ultimately the bigger concern is: How should we respond to an emergency? Even if we would like to have electricity in the evening, we probably want to avoid suffering starvation more.

The reality is that with the technology we have today, we could have a lot of stuff. But we can’t have everything. You can take your vaporizer, go out at night, vape weed and listen to Spotify on your phone. You just have to make sure you charge your phone during the afternoon. And if there is no Internet during the evening, because there is no electricity, you’d have to download the songs you want to hear during the day. Your refrigerator can run during the day, then during the night you’d have to keep it closed.

We could have electricity during the night, in winter even. We can burn biomass. We would just have to make it expensive and reserve it for vital uses. After all, there are not endless trees available for us to burn. We can store some electricity too, but this is very expensive and the minerals for the batteries required are in short supply.

There are other things that we can’t do of course. An airplane uses huge amounts of energy to transport us. We have no way to produce electric passenger airplanes that travel at high speed, the energy requirements are just too high. We would just have to accept that traveling around the world within hours by air will be a thing of the past, just like eating meat.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that we’re so focused on keeping everything, that we’re going to end up with nothing.

22 Comments

  1. Close down all unnecessary non vital industries instead. We can find a way to let private homes have acces to electricity around the clock.

    Also no more flying, end private motoring. Travel only by electrified trains, trams and buses. Minimize the use of batteries for vehicles, build infrastructure for trolleybuses and trolleytrucks instead.

    • Totally agree. Just to specify what is “unnecessary” and how to root it out: big government is always wasteful. Introduce a flat tax of 5% worldwide and the governments should do within this amount. No subsidies, no meddling in their citizen’s lives – they simply won’t have the resources for that.
      People are reasonable and everything will get better. The concentration of huge resources and power in very few hands is the source of the problem, and big government is just that.

      • Unnecessary i.e. everything that is not vital for human survival.

        Humanity must live within certain limits so that we do not destroy the conditions for our own existance. Divide that up all the way down to an individual level.

        Democracy is wasteful and must be paused until we have learned to live within these limits.

        Sector after sector need to be nationalized, only make sure we do not mess up the food production. In the long run, abandon private property and money altogether and strive for a one world government.

        • Hope you are just kidding.
          Abandon democracy and go straight to a global government by a bunch of sociopaths? Nice plan you’ve got there. I really hoped Covid has opened the eyes of the “the state should solve my problems” crowd, but apparently some need even more painful shake-up.
          You have no idea what happens when most of the economy is nationalized. I do. I have seen the socialist paradise and it is not for the good of the people, climate, mother earth, you name it.
          It’s just like a single huge privately owned company that has a total monopoly on everything and couldn’t care less for anything beyond prolonging its privileged position. if you really believe this will solve anything beyond the narcissistic dreams of a bunch of totalitarian dimwits you are fully delusional.

          • Always the communist bogeyman counter argument in some form.

            Soviet style communism only existed in a military competition context towards Nato and the United States. Too much of the economy was focused on the military while the other sectors was neglected and the people fell in despair.

            We need to have an alternative to the current ”free market capitalism infinite growth on a finite planet” paradigm. A clear vision of a better world in which humanity and nature flourish and something to strive for. It is not the WEF vision of everything in the hands of some billionaire and everybody else beeing some sort of prison slaves, fuck them.

  2. “step 1, make a huge totalitarian government.

    Step 2, surveil everyone constantly.

    Step 3, ban everything above basic subsistence, as defined by us.”

    With survival like this, who would fear global collapse? Shit that sounds downright pleasant compared to the future you people advocate forcing onto the rest of us.

    Then you wonder why people like me would prefer to see road blockers splattered by trucks, even in the face of theorized doom.

      • I’m only reading this because you were such an annoying nigger cunt posting totalitarian revenge fantasies about locking me in a work camp for being normal.

        I never cared to read any of this until the last two weeks of your blog. Good job pushing discourse and sentiment towards your opposition.

        ======

        “A level of 280 ppm is twice that—80 ppm of inflow. Now, we’re saying that the inflow of human carbon dioxide is one-third of the total. Even IPCC data says, ‘No, human carbon dioxide inflow is about 5 percent to 7 percent of the total carbon dioxide inflow into the atmosphere,'” he said.

        So, to make up for the lack of necessary human-caused carbon dioxide flowing into the atmosphere, the IPCC claims that instead of having a turnover time of 3.5 years, human CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds or even thousands of years.

        “[The IPCC is] saying that something is different about human carbon dioxide and that it can’t flow as fast out of the atmosphere as natural carbon dioxide,” Mr. Berry said. “Well, IPCC scientists—when they’ve gone through, what, billions of dollars?—should have asked a simple question: ‘Is a human carbon dioxide molecule exactly identical to a natural carbon dioxide molecule?’ And the answer is yes. Of course!

        “Well, if human and natural CO2 molecules are identical, their outflow times must be identical. So, the whole idea where they say it’s in there for hundreds, or thousands, of years, is wrong.”

        Mr. Berry said that means nature—not humans—caused the increase in CO2. And consequently, attempts to decrease human CO2 are pointless.

    • >With survival like this, who would fear global collapse? Shit that sounds downright pleasant compared to the future you people advocate forcing onto the rest of us.
      It sounds pleasant compared to what we have now too.

  3. “Unfortunately, it seems to me that we’re so focused on keeping everything, that we’re going to end up with nothing.”

    The “everything” is the nothing. Nothing is happening right now.

  4. I do not understand what the fuss is all about. I hate these scumbag utility companies, so I took my house off from the grid and disconnected the gas. It cost me $30,000 (USD) to put my house on 15 kW of solar panels and 30 kWh of batteries. The gas heater was dumped and a heat pump for hot water put in its place and induction cooker to replace the gas stove. I bought a cheap second hand Toyota plug in hybrid and refurbished the battery myself and I rarely use gas (one or two gallons per month). It is not that hard or expensive.

  5. Half of the power is consumed by industry which must run round the clock. You can’t switch of steelworks and petrochemistry.

    There is an interesting graph published on zerohedge, where the deaths of natural disasters are listed:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/humans-adapt-preparedness-drives-down-natural-disaster-death-tolls

    You can see that droughts were a really big problem 100 years ago but vanished. Most deadly disasters are now earthquakes. Droughts, floods and storms became pointless compared to the past.

  6. If you’re starting to feel demoralised by communist propaganda, remember you’re not in a gulag yet. They don’t have power yet, and they’re trying to demoralise you because they understand your confidence is a threat. Here’s some practical steps you can take to maximise that threat:

    – Prioritise physical fitness, particularly the kind you get by hiking and rucking. Ensure you have a really good pair of boots.
    – Go camping. Develop the skills to live outdoors without being miserable.
    – Go hunting. Be able to process a deer, get that hide and delicious venison. Not only is a single deer thousands of dollars and several months worth of meat but you are building yet more transferable skills.
    – Play, not watch, team sports.
    – Embrace religious practice, alone if necessary.
    – Have a large White family, and homeschool them. This is all going to take longer than one lifetime.

  7. Well, the pessimists are right.
    Especially that huge amount of solar power ends up mostly being useless.

    At peak generation it’s too much, easily outpacing demand. It gets sold on the market for negative price per kWh. So the German pay taxes for production and upkeep of solar installation and when it’s actually producing at maximum, they pay to have somebody take the overproduction away.
    Those solar and wind power generators have been build in china and transported by ship. They are made with coal and oil and in all probability will hardly ever produce enough during their lifetime to offset the energy used in producing them. It’s a net loss, decreasing our vital store of stored energy and increasing our damage to the environment.
    That said pretty much all electricity is “useless”.
    All that’s really important is food production. And that’s all oil baby.
    From the production of fertilizer to pesticides, the production and upkeep of tractors, trucks and ships and the transport of it all, that’s all oil. These are not easily replaced by renewals and make up anything between 33% and 50% of our entire CO2 budget. You can turn off electricity completely, that doesn’t really matter

  8. And y’all can take a good hard look what happens when you try to grow anything without fertilizer and pesticides.
    We are utterly dependent on them.

    And you people sit on the streets as protest.
    Go grow a garden.

  9. Sadly, the reality is that as a process driven by the tragedy of the commons, we will probably burn out all viable fossil fuels and kill ourselves on wars for the remainding ones.
    I used to be on the peak-oil camp, thinking that such an irrationality would eventually get destroyed by market forces as scarce materials and fuels become out of reach for the vast majority of the population.
    How did we ever forget that a “market can remain irrational far longer than you can remain solvent”, or, in this case, perhaps alive?
    A managed descent into a reasonable standard of living was always a pipe dream.

    Deep down I do hope for some quasi-magical technofix to save us from our, at this point, frankly inevitable, ultimate fate. That we can somehow “clean up our act” as a species and get our collective shit together. I wish there was some way to avoid all this suffering.
    You are right. We could have had it all, or at least, more than we ever needed.
    Instead, we will burn down our only home, barring some out-there hypotheses like your “National address to the population” scenario, which at this point is perhaps a preferable one.

    I do not share your misanthropy, but it is not hard to understand where it comes from.
    Wish you well.

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The patients in the mental ward have had their daily dose of xanax and calmed down it seems, so most of your comments should be automatically posted again. Try not to annoy me with your low IQ low status white male theories about the Nazi gas chambers being fake or CO2 being harmless plant food and we can all get along. Have fun!

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