Freitag, 27. Juli 2012

Biosprit und die Lufthansa

In der SZ habe ich dieses wunderbare Zitat gefunden:
"Die Lufthansa habe ihm gesagt, entweder fliege man in 30 Jahren mit Biosprit oder gar nicht mehr. Sämtliche skeptische Prognosen der Wissenschaft hätten sich in der Vergangenheit als Fehlprognosen erwiesen, sagt er gelassen." ( Helmut Lamp, im Hauptberuf Weizenbauer an der Kieler Förde )
In dem relativ guten Artikel wird mit dem Glauben aufgeräumt Biosprit hätte etwas mit Nachhaltigkeit zu tun. Ich hätte mir jedoch eine bessere Aufarbeitung der Daten gewünscht. Auch der Autor in der SZ hatte wiedermal keine Ahnung von den Größenordnungen über die wir hier sprechen.

Das Zitat aber ist angesichts der Flughafenausbaupläne der Lufthansa für mich ein echtes Fundstück. Offensichtlich ist sich die Lufthansa Peak Oil doch bewusst. Die Lufthansa rechnet (laut "ja zur 3" initiative) mit einem Wachstum des Flugverkehrs von 3,6% pro jahr.

In Deutschland werden heute "nur" ca 10 Millionen Tonnen Kerosin/Flugbenzin getankt..  (Quellen: Wikipedia). Bei konstantem Wachstum von 3,6% steigt der Bedarf in 30 Jahren auf über 30 Millionen Tonnen.

Wieviel Getreide oder Rapsöl man wohl benötigt um "Aviation Biofuel" herzustellen? Keine Ahnung. Meine grobe Abschätzung wäre 2T Biomasse für 1T Aviation Biofuel. Woher nehmen wir die?

Der Anbau und Transport von Getreide kostet leider ebenfalls Primärenergieträger. Woher nehmen? 
Am besten betreiben wir auch die Traktoren und Lastwägen mit Biokraftstoffen. Das funktioniert sicher, oder?

Wieviel Tonnen Biomasse brauchen wir also um die Flieger in der Luft zu halten? Einverstanden mit 70 Millionen Tonnen? Bei einer Produktion von z.B. 44 Millionen Tonnen Getreide pro Jahr in Deutschland frage ich mich schon wie das mit dem Fliegen klappen soll.

Weiten wir das Szenario auf die Welt aus. Ein Mensch benötigt ca 100Kg Getreide pro Jahr um zu überleben. Allein um den Luftverkehr von heute aufrecht zu erhalten würden wir ca. 500 Millionen Tonnen Biomasse (Getreide usw.) benötigen.

Das ist Nahrung für 5 Milliarden Menschen in einem Jahr!

Wenn die Alternativen also laut Lufthansa "Biosprit oder gar nicht mehr fliegen" lauten, dann muss wohl "gar nicht mehr" die richtige Antwort sein. Warum wir uns diese Dinge immer selber berechnen müssen und unsere Medien diese Dinge nicht im Ansatz vermitteln, muss jeder für sich selbst beantworten.

Neuer Artikel dazu in der Zeit: Der große Selbstbetrug 

Donnerstag, 12. Juli 2012

Whistleblowers, where are you?

I am not sure if I have any readers from the rest of the world, and if yes, if they have read about the nazi terror cell known as "NSU". If not, please get yourself informed at wikipedia.

The institution that should protect the people in this country, namely the Verfassungsschutz (Secret Service equivalent) and the BKA (federal police), have become the target of an investigation comittee. As it appears, these instituitions have not only failed to stop a group of nazi terrorists that murdered people and robbed banks, they might even have supported them.

As of now, the comittee is being stonewalled by the agency and the police. Informations get out, because incompetence and corruption were too big to hide, but so far, there has been nobody that found his heart to really blow the whistle and shed some light on what really is going on. What is clear, the failures in arresting these terrorists are not explainable by incompetence only, somebody, has protected them. Was it one person, a group of people, a secret network? No one knows for sure. 

This bothers me very much. That there is no employee of the Verfassungsschutz that feels bound to his conscience, the common good, democracy and the values this country ostensibly stands for, speaks volumes about the condition of this service.

Can it really be? Is there nobody in Verfassungsschutz or the police who is having the courage to speak out? Nobody who is willing to give us the german equivalent of "the pentagon papers" and be the german Daniel Ellsberg?

Being a whistleblower might feel like being a traitor, but, in times like these, keeping your mouth shut, not telling the comittee what you know, shredding evidence or deleting files is betrayal to the people you swore to protect.

We need to know from how high up the protection for the NSU nazis was coming from. Germans need the truth, and we need it now. If this crime is not solved, if not all the tiny failures come to light, if the ones responsible are not beeing taken to court, 70 years of dealing with our fascist past will be in question.

So please, somebody come out and bring us the truth! 

Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012

Natural Gas Liquids and infinite ressources of stupidity

According to this recent study of Harvard University, Peak Oil could indeed be delayed by some decades, due to the rapid development of Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) exploitation in the USA.

I admit, this post comes hard for me. After having tried to increase public attention to peak oil for years, it seems that the downslope is further off as I and many experts expected. The report seems to withstand closer scrutiny though.

Many will sigh a breath of relief when reading this. The exploitation of natural ressources will commence for another few decades in which we will have time to prepare for the decreasing oil production.

NGL production seems to grow fast enough to compensate the diminishing conventional oil production we face today for some time. It could even lead to a small increase of oil production if prices are high and stable.

To believe it will spur growth the same way that the exploitation of conventional oil did until recently, is expecting too much. I expect the current situation of effective stagnation of growth to continue while oil production plateaus and per capita oil production will continue to sink slowly with increased population. The current development of raking in capital gains by increasing social inequality will continue to hassle us.

If you have watched Prof Bartletts lecture about exponential growth against a finite ressource you will understand when I say: we only turned the clock back from 1 min before 12 to 1 min and 30 sec before 12.

I find it hard to believe that any western society will use this precious time we supposedly have gained before hitting the wall to prepare for a sustainable society.

The basic considerations about peak oil stay the same, the effects of wasting fossil fuels will become worse though. For future generations this news is bad indeed. As predicted by the Club of rome, CO2 emissions will inevitably increase for another few decades while we exploit these additional fossil fuels.
Launch: "2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years"

According to the new book by the Club of Rome the global climate collapse could happen in the second half of this century. World temperature could well reach a point soon when global warming becomes unstoppable and self enhancing. The reason is the inability of capitalism to bring about a change towards a sustainable society. If growth can be acchieved by any means capitalism will embrace it at all costs.
"It is unlikely that governments will pass necessary regulation to force the markets to allocate more money into climate-friendly solutions, and (we) must not assume that markets will work for the benefit of humankind," (Club Of Rome)

I was more optimistic concerning global warming than the Club of Rome. Until now there seemed to be a tight race between global warming and oil depletion that I thought would lead to future CO2 emissions well below the forecasts the Club of Rome worked with (due to the inevitable end of growth and its consequences that would bring the end of growth capitalism).

So I had had hopes that humans would be saved from their own stupidity and the global climate collapse by luck, but if there is one ressource to be counted on to be infinite its human stupidity.

To produce Oil from unconventional ressources will increase CO2 emissions drastically. Unconventional ressources are well below the EROEI (Energy Return On Energy Invested) of 20:1 that conventional crude oil offers and range between 2:1 for tar sands to about 5:1 for NGLs. By exploiting NGL we will produce huge amounts of CO2 only to burn this expensively won energy to waste it for useless consumption, again.

Unconventional hydrocarbon ressources come with another price. The industry has yet to prove that this technology is safe for the environment and that they are able to recycle the huge amounts of contaminated water they are producing. Actually, I could not find evidence that recycling the contaminated water would not bring down the EROEI to below 1:1, as most of the millions of tons of water are contaminated with saline ingredients that can only be extracted by investing huge amounts of energy. Currently most of the contaminated water is dumped into rivers, pressed into the drilled holes or just dumped on waste disposal sites.

Btw: The recycling that has been implemented so far does not actually restore the water quality but makes parts of it reusable for more fracking while concentrating most of the unwanted chemicals in higher solutions that have to be disposed as toxic waste.

So even without adding the costs for many accidents that have happened, the hidden additional costs for society are high. Just like with nuclear energy, in the end the public sector will probably be made responsible to get rid of the waste that hydraulic fracking and tar sand minig will have produced.

I would also expect the competition for making NGL exploitation cheaper to lead to more sloppiness and an increased chance of accidents and widespread pollution by fracking chemicals.

The lecture, that growth capitalism brings about ruin to mankind will hit us later but harder.

The urgency to take action is higher than ever before. If you are expecting to still live in the year 2075 or if you care for your children enough you will have to actively bring about a change today, Its in your hands now.

(See also George Monbiot in the guardian )