Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Michio Kaku's Future Predictions Are Likely Wrong









Michio Kaku is a physicist who by now has made a number of notable claims to fame, based on popularizations such as his book 'Hyperspace', as well as appearing on assorted network interviews the past few years in association with events such as the BP oil disaster, and the Japanese tsunami and its impact on Fukuyama nuclear plants.

Anyway, in a weekend Wall Street Journal interview (p. A11, March 10-11) Kaku delivers a number of stirring prophecies - for lack of a better term- that boggle the mind. One such prediction: we will have computer chips in everything, from clothing, to furniture, to cars to most appliances .....even pets. The word "computer" will actually become defunct because so much stuff will have computer chips it will no longer be necessary to discriminate one unique object that computes from all else. (Even "DNA chips" will be inside our toilet which can instantly analyze stools and urine to let us know if cancer is lurking.)

The technological power moreover will be so vast by the year 2100, that our grand kids will seem to us like "Greek gods". Almost everyone will also have hand held devices that can translate any language in seconds. One imagines Kaku also foresees stupendous advances in physics, biology, chemistry etc. but he doesn't specify many beyond perhaps discovering the Higgs boson using the current large hadron collider. Perhaps the years of budget cuts have tempered his expectations in the pure science sphere.

(My own take is that if there's one defined advance that we need to achieve, it's being able to knock out or divert a large planet-killing asteroid from impacting the Earth - such as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. I don't necessarily expect colonies on Mars, but I do expect this - if we plan to remain on this world, and not spread ourselves outward.)

Anyway, how realistic are Kaku's ideas? That depends on what you know (or don't know) and how well you understand the extent to which abundant, cheap and useful energy underlies the sort of advances he prognosticates. What we know is that large quantities of energy (and water) are required to manufacture computer chips to an acceptable level of quality - and we are rapidly running short of both cheap, useful energy and water.

Let's take water first. In ‘The State of the World’ report (2000, pp. 46-47), it is noted that the ever increasing water deficits will likely spark “water wars” by 2025. As they note (p. 47):

"When a country’s renewable water supplies drop below 1,700 cubic meters per capita (what some analysts call the water stress level) it becomes difficult for the country to mobilize enough water to satisfy all the food, household, and industrial needs of its population.”

As it is, most nations in the 3rd world are now in this predicament or soon will be by the year 2020. It's particularly bad in the most rapidly growing nations of sub-Sahara Africa. Climate change -global warming has definitely played a role ...as it continues to do so in the U.S. (Mainly in the West and Southwest).

The same State of the World’ report notes at present rates of decline and even without factoring in the worst global warming influences – the number of people living in water-stressed countries will rise from 470 million to 3 billion by 2025. More than a sixfold increase. Add in projected new climate change data and likely effects and the stressed populations increase nine or tenfold.

In terms of energy, and what exactly the source is that provides for the manufacture of all our computer chips now - that's easy! It's OIL! The planet was endowed originally with ~ 3,000 billion barrels of oil – of which we’ve consumed one third and another one sixth of relatively cheap oil remains after Peak Oil - which occurred in 2005. It is true that there's about another third of “break-even” oil (costs as much to access as it delivers), after which one -sixth of very expensive oil remains (costs much more to reach it than it deliver in energy - say like deep sea deposits which will effectively take 3 gals consumed for each gallon produced).

At the heart of these considerations is the net energy (cf. Weisz, in Physics Today, July, 2004, p. 51)


Q (net) = Q (PR) – [Q (op) + E/T]

In effect, for break-even oil one would find Q(net) = 0

Thus, there is no net gain in energy given the quantity that must be used to obtain it.

For the last 700 billion barrels,

Q(net) = negative quantity = -Q

since the rate of energy production (Q (PR)) must be debited by the energy consumed for its operation Q(op), and the energy E invested during its “lifetime” T.

This is why oil shale and natural gas drilling, fracking are wastes of time and energy - because they do not deliver NET energy value, they deliver lost energy quotas that multiply over time. Think about it: If it takes 1.01 gallons of cheap, high EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) oil to produce 1.0 gallon of low EROEI shale oil, then you are sacrificing your most useful energy for less useful. You are, as we would say in Barbados, "batting on a losing wicket". The reason the oil shale humpers and their ilk can make their bald claims is that no one ever calls them out on the TOTAL energy costs used for extraction (including the energy costs to make the equipment that extracts), including transport!

Moreover, this is a game that can go on only so long, before the losses exceed the benefits and drive producers away! This is exactly what's occurred already in many oil shale drilling and gas fracking states as the market costs of those commodities have plunged in relation to the costs of their production. Well, why is this? It's because the REAL market costs are too low because they're put in competition with the remaining stores of high EROEI oil rather than the actual energy costs to produce them! If the latter were used, the oil from shale would be 2-3x the regular oil costs.

Peak Oil’ is somewhat misleading a term, since it suggests a specific date of peak production (e.g. 2005). In more practical terms – what it means is that if 2005 was the year of global peak oil production then the worldwide oil production in 2025 will be the SAME as in 1980 demanding that Q(net) > 0. Also, it means that 2040 will be the same as 1965, and 2060 will be the same as 1945, and 2100 will be the same as 1905! All this while the population is expected to reach 9 billion or more in the SAME PERIOD!

In effect, the total available and accessible energy density (marked by the source with the biggest 'bang for the buck', e.g. oil) is continually decreasing. Thus, Kaku's projections of the "Greek god" status for kids living in 2100 are predicated on energy stores barely equal to the oil we had available in 1905 and could actually get out of the ground then. Precisely for this reason, one will really have a vast energy-unsupportable population, that may well add up to 10 billion or more!

That is, nearly 10-11 billion people exist as net energy sinks not sources, and based on this no civilization can survive. What one gets then is not some utopia like Michio Kaku envisages, but the nightmare world of "Panem" the horrific nation depicted in the 'Hunger Games' in which the population must be endlessly culled by bloodsport games and people exist perpetually on the margins of hunger and disease. How can it be otherwise? The reason the utopians' nonsense usually prevails is first, most Americans are diehard, unchecked optimists at heart, and second, most of the utopians (or unabashed optimists) have never processed fully the concept of net energy! Which is why I always suggest blog readers avail themselves of the site:

http://www.dieoff.org/

and pay attention to the links at the right, going through them in the order shown.

What about developing solar, geothermal, wind or all together to replace fossil-fuel based energy and allow us to make our endless computer chips? Valiant thought, but it crashes and burns. The fact is neither solar, wind, geothermal, hydrogen, methyl hydrates or anything else can save us (since they lack the requisite energy density) unless we ALSO cut global population down to 2 billion or less. We cannot keep gobbling finite energy stores at the rate we are (increasing the "gobble rate" by 1-2% per year) as we increase the number of "gobblers" too!

A reality check appears in The Physicist's Desk Reference, in the section on 'Energy Supply', there is a table (C., p. 187) for future projections of energy supply. The information is divided into categories of energy for categories of energy demand (I, II, III, IV) where I is 'very aggressive', II is 'aggressive, III is 'moderate', IV is 'unchanged' . The only double-digit exajoule energy source contributors for IV are: oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear. Oil shale is at 1/10 of nuclear and, solar is at 2/3 of oil shale .

In terms of Kaku's world in 2100, the reality of the U.S. of A. will actually be more in tune with the "Panem" depicted in Suzanne Collins' dystopic tale, than any kind of utopian, fairy vision with every citizen instantly blinking eyes to compute on a global network and living endlessly via "synthetic organs".

What about technology itself, might that not usher in Kaku's glorious world and spare us from a 2100 version of "Panem"? After all, maybe technology or some hitherto unthought of device or series of them will make energy access more efficient or abundant?

According to energy specialist Matt Savinar (Life after the Oil Crash, p. 33):

"The idea that technologically derived increases in energy efficiency will solve this for us is fundamentally flawed: technology uses energy; it doesn’t produce it. Here in the 21st century, we have a shortage of energy, not technology. The shortage of energy was caused primarily by the introduction of new technologies such as the internal combustion engine. The shortage is therefore unlikely to be solved by the introduction of even more technology.

More technology will simply allow us to use more energy, which will make us more dependent on technology, which will make us more dependent on energy. As the supply of energy dwindles, the technology on which we have become dependent will no longer function To illustrate: what do you think would happen if the average fuel efficiency of every vehicle on the road today was magically raised to 200 miles per gallon?

It doesn’t take a psychic to accurately predict how we would react to this “miracle.” We would continue to build our homes farther and farther away from our jobs and grow our food farther and farther away from our stores. In other words, we would increase our dependency on cheap energy. This would temporarily delay the crisis while reinforcing the underlying problem, which is a dual dependence on cheap energy and high technology. The more dependent we are on cheap energy when the day of reckoning arrives, the more painful it is going to be, the more people are going to die, and the longer it will take us to recover from the aftermath.

Consequently, increases in fuel efficiency and technology are more likely to make our situation worse, not better."

The bottom line here is that in all Kaku's marvelous visions, the one down factor he didn't correct for is the increasing global population, which is not only an endless drain on finite resources but an incessant source of global pollution. This increasing population consumes billions of hectares of potable water each year even as it pollutes an equal amount in its industrial processes. It also gobbles up non-renewable sources of cheaper and efficient modes of energy such as oil, even as it increases demand on the same stores by never-ending increase in human numbers.

This is a math game that simply can't work, and if Kaku really wants to see the world he envisions, he needs to show us how to pare human numbers down to no more than two billion - without invoking any horrific scenarios like novel viruses for which there is no immunity or antibiotics ceasing effectiveness.

18 comments:

Jeremy Kaplan said...

I think it's unreasonable to expect anyone, even someone as brilliant as Kaku, to predict everything about the future perfectly. I'm assuming that the person who wrote the article you mention in the Wall Street Journal selected Kaku's most impressive and fantastic predictions.

In his book The Physics of the Future he makes a lot of predictions that seem reasonable and backed by real life examples of real technology. Some are mind boggling but others are more reasonable.

My point being that saying his future predictions are likely wrong is really a bit too generalized. Perhaps "some" in the title is more accurate?

An interesting post though, and well worth the read.

Copernicus said...

Jeremy Kaplan wrote:

"My point being that saying his future predictions are likely wrong is really a bit too generalized. Perhaps "some" in the title is more accurate?"

Of course, in the context of an entire book such as the one you cited, this is more than likely plausible.

My specific rejection of Kaku's predictions was based exclusively on the subset published in his WSJ article. To me, none of these referenced the low EROEI oil -energy in our future and hence - if these were referenced, his forecasts would have been more realistic, sober.

Thanks, btw, for noting the "interesting read".

Robby said...

Interesting indeed!

This reminds me of Isaac Asimov's story, "The Last Question" ( http://filer.case.edu/dts8/thelastq.htm ) in which he addresses the effects of entropy and an unsustainable population (over trillions of years, though).

So, true, we can only hope to harness enough energy to sustain our current population long enough to harness more energy in other means.

To me, though, Kaku's predictions of technology must also be taken into account with a multitude of other predictions as well, such as advancements in medicine, and the achievement of artificial intelligence (wherever that will take us). Savinar's idea of an ultimate decrease in energy will very possibly come true, but it remains to be seen if it is in our immediate future or not. It appears that even he doesn't try to predict when "Panem" will come about.

Thank you for the analysis!

magicmadhatter said...

I agree with my commenting predecessors that this was a very interesting read. I actually found your article through a google search I preformed due to my own doubts about Kaku's predicted future. I truly hope you don't mind me adding my reasons for doubting such a brilliant mind. I would also like to tip my hat to Kaku in respect and acknowledge that predicting the future is an extraordinarily difficult task.
Without further adieu, here are my issue's with Kaku's preposed future. His predictions, almost entirely, rest on the assumption that computer chips will continue decreasing in price and increasing in efficiency indefinitely at the same rate they have been. There are two problems I see with this assumption.
The more obvious and general problem with the foundation for his claims about the future is the unreliability of overextending predictions made from trending. Instead of going into detail about the fallacy that is being employed here, I'll simply point in the direction of the housing market and dutch tulips bubble bursts.
The pin that I see rearing and ready to burst this microchip advancement bubble is microchip itself. One of the main reasons the microchip has decreased in price and size so dramatically is the shift to the silicon chip. Which has gotten so small that they are running into numerous problems halting it's further miniaturization. So, until we have another leap forward in microchip design, I feel it to be dishonest to assume the microchip will continue along its path and the current rate of advancement.

James Ziegenbalg said...

Quite the pessimistic article. While I agree that it may not be a smooth road, I am confident that humanity will continue to make progress. It would seem that most of your postulate is rather short-sighted, and based upon current technologies, most importantly, energy requirements required for fundamental tasks. Take potable water... as of today, desalination is expensive and energy intensive, but mostly because it is not a vital service. Once it becomes necessary to convert salt water to fresh due to dwindling natural reserves, it won't be long until the focused ingenuity of manking streamlines the procss. It is also important to note that many of Kaku's predictions hinge upon one major breakthrough, room temperature superconductors, which would absolutely make much of his predicted tech possible. Efficiency will not lower overall energy consumption, about this you are correct, however the hole in your argument (which is big enough to drive a solar powered truck through) is that you discard alternative energy sources based on inefficiency... rtsc's would make solar, wind, geothermal, or tidal energy sources perfectly feasible as you could transfer power long distances with almost zero waste. The price of oil will only continue to increase, the mistake that is made is that people tend to think once it increases too much, catastrophe will follow. Few people take into account that while oil prices rise, the cost of alternatives continue to fall, and eventually there will be a crossover point, when alternatives become more economically feasible than oil. Right now there is only marginal focus on anything other than fossil fuels, and we have done a great job of squeezing more and more out of every drop, but eventually we will make the switch. The great thing about solar is that it is for all intents and purposes limitless. All we need to do is find more efficient ways of utilizing it. Necessity is the mother of invention, and until we need to, or until it becomes economically advantageous, we will continue to pour our focus into how to get more and more from dwindling oil stores. Once we shift this focus away from that, we will have a much higher ceiling in our overall sustainable energy output. Your argument about efficiency being the problem is very narrow. .. as once we have the efficiency to actually harness cheap solar power... we should theoretically have the means to increase our energy output by orders of magnitude without coming close to tapping out the sun. It should keep us rolling at current growth rates for millenia.

Copernicus said...

James Ziegenbalg wrote:

The great thing about solar is that it is for all intents and purposes limitless. All we need to do is find more efficient ways of utilizing it.
-----

The problem with solar is that the energy 'density' is simply too low to power the type of civilization we have, which sports a mammoth war-industrial complex manufacturing thousands of bombs, missiles, jet planes aircraft carriers, etc. each year - not to mention an antiquated power grid the entire infrastructure of which is predicated upon utilization of fossil fuels.

The very transformation of that gird to one that could accommodate a totally solar basis would itself be a monumental project - rivaling putting the first man on the Moon (and in today's dollars).

Solar efficiency even with the best collection devices today barely comes close to 40% if that. Then there is the diffuse nature of solar, never mind the magnitude. How are you going to reliably collect it to serve the high intensity demands we have today? You can't.

The only way it can feasibly be used is to also scale down our energy intensive civilization. A first start would have to be doing away with the entire military industrial complex which currently sucks up a good portion (perhaps 60 percent) of our energy and resources.

It's a nice idea in theory but I fear the time transition factor is simply too lengthy - certainly for the fossil fuel addicted USA to make any major inroads!

Copernicus said...

we should theoretically have the means to increase our energy output by orders of magnitude without coming close to tapping out the sun.
-----

Again, the fact that the Sun is a monumental power source - generating some 3.9 x 10^26 watts, doesn't mean humans -especially American humans - will be able to maximize its use.

If we were serious about any such plan we'd already have been like Israel say, in widespread solar plants, developments. Look around and tell me if that's what you see. I don't, I see coal-fired plants and oil refineries and electric grids based on those fossil fuels. You also will need mammoth energy (from fossil fuel) to construct the solar based energy grid and delivery system you envisage. (For example, to be able to store solar when and where there is no sunlight or there are overcast conditions)

The fact is our severe wastrel culture and military has nearly foreclosed any opportunity to use solar since its needs are so energy intensive that fossil fuel is the only thing that fits the military bill.

Again, you aren't going to go anywhere with this illustrious solar future vision until you first kill off the main energy deflector and consumer postponing its implementation - and that is the military-industrial complex.

Any ideas? Or are you prepared to say they can run their Abrams tanks, aircraft carriers, and F35s as well as nuclear missiles on solar power?

Yes, I AM pessimistic - but I call it more realistic ...in terms of our actual energy capabilities and our potential to change in the near future.

Copernicus said...

Again, James, see my 'reality check' from The Physicist's Desk Reference, in the section on 'Energy Supply' (Table C., p. 187)

This is for future projections of energy supply. The information is divided into categories of energy for categories of energy demand (I, II, III, IV) where I is 'very aggressive', II is 'aggressive, III is 'moderate', IV is 'unchanged' .

The only double-digit exajoule energy sources for IV are: oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear. Oil shale is at 1/10 of nuclear and, solar is at 2/3 of oil shale .


The physicists who prepared this table didn't do it from fictional fables, wild hopes or imaginings but from hard core data extrapolated into the future.

I see nothing in the current technical frame that would cause me to seriously question those extrapolations!

Copernicus said...

Once it becomes necessary to convert salt water to fresh due to dwindling natural reserves, it won't be long until the focused ingenuity of manking streamlines the procss
---------------------

Not likely or plausible - as Barbados has learned with its own desalination efforts. The energy expended to provide the desalination is greater (almost) than the cost of importing water.

"Streamlining" isn't likely because there aren't many ways to get around the fundamental physical -plant limitations, including distribution (which
B'dos also found is a major issue)

In addition, desalination while it might work for sea bound islands or coastal locations won't be a solution for land locked areas, towns. The cost of transporting the desalinated water - again- would have to likely be borne by intensive fossil fuel use (large lorries, trains ferrying the water)

Lastly, desalination will soon be impossible anyway owing to the increasing acidification of sea water from absorption of CO2 - as a byproduct of global warming. For reference, the oceans are now 30 percent more acidic than before the industrial revolution.

James Ziegenbalg said...

Sure, the current efficiency is 40%, what was it 20 years ago? What will it be in another 20? Even without a sustained focus, the technology will improve. While a pure solar future would be nice, even an optimist such as myself would agree it isn't feasible. A more realistic approach is a combination of wind, solar, tidal, geothermic, etc. Storage depends highly on battery tech, which is already moving at a nice clip, could be better, but again, it isn't a national focus. The tech already exists to microwave beam solar energy from space, which while it does pose a whole new set of challenges does provide some possible releif from the variability. New infrastructure is a must matter how you look at it... we've knowingly built what exists around sources that we know are finite. A room temp superconducting energy grid is certainly a wildly optimistic idea, but im confident it will happen eventually, there just needs to be a breakthrough, it could come tomorrow, or it could take a hundred years, but it is an inevitability, and tje accuracy of Kakus predictions hang precariously upon when that breakthrough will occur.

Call me unpatriotic, but I think we would both agree that the American model is grossly unsustainable, and it may be a bit unrealistic to base our views opinions of the entire future of human civilization on one country, that given its current trajectory, likely isn't going to be as influential or powerful as it is right now. A better example would be Germany, who last summer netted an appreciable percentage of its electricity from solar. Given the current primitive state of solar tech, I personally find this to be quite encouraging.

Copernicus said...

James, check out The Physicist's Desk Reference, in the section on 'Energy Supply' (Table C., p. 187) . Even integrating ALL the alternative sources, i.e. wind, geothermal, solar etc. the total doesn't even come to 1 EJ when projected say to 2020.

What are we supposed to do in the transition phase? It's all very well to assert things "are already moving at a nice slip" - but immense venture capital is required to put it even remotely on a footing with the fossil fuels, including the "new" ones of oil shale and natural gas - fracked from the Earth.

WHERE is that money going to come from?

Again, the transition on any kind of magnitude depends on scalng down the military national security state (including of China - vying to be number 1) which not only consumes nearly 18% of the world's energy but also (in the case of the U.S.) adds monumentally to the debt - limiting the options for investment in alternative sources.

Militarism ultimately is the biggest deflector and waster of energy - irrespective of which nation is doing it. And so long as it is exists in the empire building form we have now (the U.S. with over 4,000 bases globally and consuming trillions each year with the national security state - there is simply no way the transition can be accomplished.

YES, you are right the American model is "grossly unsustainable" but that alone doesn't mean the Military Industrial complex - and its appendage NSA-spy complex is going to abandon it. It satisfies their demands and that's all they care about. And the longer it does, the longer fossil fuels are used in this ill-advised manner, the worse their degradation and the harder it will be to build an alternative infrastructure - because we will need whatever fossil fuels are left to do that.

Germany is a good example, but it is only one small nation - compare to the U.S. and China. Unless you get those two to drop their military expansion via fossil fuels, we are on what I call a losing wicket. And that means alternative energy will be too time delayed to really make a difference -especially as the global population is growing by 1.4-1.7% a year.

James Ziegenbalg said...

We certainly agree on one thing, it's going to get worse before it gets better. The reason we haven't been prepping for the transition to sustainability is because the current model doesn't hurt enough yet. Fossil fuels are still the most economically viable energy source, and will remain the foundation of energy production until that changes. You said the transition would be akin to the Apollo Project, I think thats an understatement, try Apollo+Manhattan+The New Deal. Im not saying it's going to happen overnight, and Im not convinced The U.S will lead the charge, but Germany has shown on at least a medium sized national scale that it IS possible. Even with the horribly inefficient methods available to us at current tech. The fact is it needs to hurt more. Once nations who are ahead of the curve on alternatives start to establish an economic advantage because of it, the bigger nations will follow suit. It's bound to happen, we've reached peak oil, and within the next few decades the costs associated will begin to skyrocket. Some will argue its already started. The longer we put it off the more it's gonna hurt.
BTW we are in complete agreement regarding the MIC. In the words of Jacques Fresco, "This Shits gotta go!"

James Ziegenbalg said...

Also, one of the reasons Germany is such a great example of the possible success of solar is the fact that, when compared with the U.S. it actually receives much less usable solar radiation than we do in a given area... its somewhat akin to us using solar energy to power Alaska! Also of note is the causes leading to German reliance on Solar, which is purely political decision making. They have artificially created economic conditions conducive to the expansion of their solar industry, while artificially going after the pocketbooks of oil and coal users through tariffs and taxes. This would never fly in the US, we can barely pass a budget, nevermind politically unpopular new taxes, but the political issue will be a moot one eventually, as the pain of using carbon fuels will not have to be artificially implemented forever. Nature will take its course, as she always does.

Copernicus said...

Some more follow up points:

1) Yes, it is "going to get worse before it gets better". We're facing not merely a degradation of fossil fuels (in terms of EROEI delivered) but that ever gigaton extracted puts us nearer to an irreversible runaway greenhouse effect.

2) Having just seen Germany's solar advances - on a visit to Munich in 2013, I agree Germany can contribute but it simply lacks the overall finanical heft to "lead the charge" - unless its venture capitalists are willing to bankroll U.S. companies ready to go ful tilt on solar, wind, etc.

3)Again the use of solar by Germany is noted but ALSO the scaled down homes, amenities! As I said, the only way a diffuse solar can work properly is for our civilization to scale down in size.

In our Munich hotel (Art Hotel) we found rooms about 1/2 the size of a typical American hotel (like the Westin types) and water minimal toilets in bathrooms barely 1/3 the size of what you'd find in the U.S.

This scale downsizing makes solar more efficient and reasonable to use but I can't see 'Muricans - with their demand for 3,000+ sq. foot homes ready to jump on board.

They need to feel a LOT more pain!

Copernicus said...

One more thing, the biggest elephant in the room holding us back toward alternatives is again, the military industrial complex - not just of the U.S. - but as embedded in China, India, Pakistan etc.

James Ziegenbalg said...

"Necessity is the mother of invention." I wouldn't expect any major changes until it becomes necessary. Sadly in our global society what is "necessary" is dictated not by good science, ethics, or conscious, but by what is required to keep the wealth where it is, and generate more of it. It seems counterintuitive, but one of the biggest barriers we have against progress isn't the military industrial complex, (which I beleive is a symptom as much as a cause) but our antiquated fiat monetary system, which only thrives when all things have scarcity, hence value. There exists little economic incentive to harness the limitless energy of the Sun and Earth if it can't be done in a way that prevents any real abundance of energy. This is the reason most of us were taught that Tesla was mad (if we were taught about him at all). I beleive overcoming this mindset where real value is confused with simple profitability is going to be the biggest hurdle of all.

James Ziegenbalg said...

I just realized your op is from 2012. I certainly didn't mean to dredge up an old thread just to stand opposite your opinions. This has been a nice debate. Much respect given to you copernicus. Your argument are all well researched and backed up with solid physics, our differences lie primarily in the amount of optimism we hold, (probably the result of a difference in age/experience) but I beleive our fundamental views and values are similar. We both maintain that a shift in the way we consume and produce energy should happen, and the sooner the better! So while its healthy and necessary to debate the details, whats important at the end of it is to get more people into that mindset! Good post copernicus. Good debate! Much respect sir.

Copernicus said...

Thank, James for a rigorous debate! I just hope our politicos and others can get moving on it....while there is still time and the runaway greenhouse hasn't yet been incepted!