[p2p-research] Earth's carrying capacity and Catton
michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 17 11:26:10 CEST 2009
I'm only seeking to make our alternative ideas, both inspired by
emancipatory desires, more achievable and influential in the current world
On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 12:16 PM, Paul D. Fernhout <
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
> You make lots of great points (very well presented and nicely organized)
> I'll have to think more about.
> --Paul Fernhout
> Michel Bauwens wrote:
>> No doubt solar has a great future ahead of itself,
>> but come on Paul, whenever did corporate press releases become accepted as
>> the truth,
>> if you want to engage with the serious critics, you have to come up with
>> third party material ...
>> corporate PR may not be outright and full lies, but they are 'massaged'
>> they not, and unless there is transparency, difficult to verify,
>> you have a belief in abundance, which to my mind goes like this:
>> - abundance is a possiblity
>> - therefore achieving it is trivial
>> - but in fact, it's already there, could have been achieved decades ago
>> - so if it's not there, it because people are activitely fighting it,
>> including those who come with those pesky detailed questions ...
>> I suggest an other approach:
>> - there's a polarity between abudance and scarcity, with many shades in
>> between, and we must carefully distinguish them; none of these
>> are purely objective, social structures, cultural constraints, political
>> struggles are involved in defining/achieving them
>> - every abundance creates its own scarcities ( such as mutual media
>> attention scarcity), and they need to be carefully assessed
>> - where abundance is possible: 1) how can it be engineered, which is a
>> and messy business; 2) what are the politics in which this technology is
>> embedded, i.e. which actually determines which options are chosen and how
>> I feel that many of our discussions turn around because you proceed much
>> the transhumanists do
>> there reasoning is mostly:
>> 1) there are interesting technical and scientific leads and possiblities;
>> let's assume they are all achieved together already, or just around the
>> corner; 3) therefore, there are no real problems in the world that could
>> be solved soon by miracle transhumanist technologies
>> Again the reality there is: 1) there are interesting leads, but most of
>> will never be achieved; and most of the assumptions of their achievement
>> terribly reductionist and ir-realistic; 2) the ones that are achieved at
>> it will be through a long social and technical process of human
>> 3) real technologies exist today which could solve many human problems but
>> are not adopted because of value choices and the political weakness of the
>> majority who would benefit from them
>> There is a Pleasure principle of easily attaining a perfect world
>> to one's desires; and there's a Reality Principle, and between it, the
>> difficult path of Ananke ...
>> To me this means:
>> 1) immaterial abundance could be achieved in many areas, but the hard and
>> continuous struggle for free culture shows many obstacles to that
>> 2) the material world is determined by hard choices of cost-recovery and
>> resources that are mostly limited, and require abandoning any belief in
>> easily achieved permanent abundance and waste ... the very basis of
>> growth thinking in capitalism; nevertheless, there is the objective
>> possiblity of giving the whole humanity a decent material basis, but again
>> this will not happen automatically ...
>> The argument that we can do this is powerful, and shows that social
>> structures are geared against it, and it shows how the latter must be
>> changed before achieving the former;
>> but the argument that natural abundance is just around the corner, because
>> of infinite oil and sunshine is fallacious, an expression of the pleasure
>> On Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 3:55 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
>> pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
>> Ryan Lanham wrote:
>>>> Paul Fernhout wrote:
>>>> Are you saying all these people are either stupid or lying?
>>>>> Others here have brought up nanosolar claims. So far they are hype.
>>>> science, no product. If they produce something that comes in at a wide
>>>> scale implementation cost under 0.25 USD, I'll start to listen. For
>>>> is lots of industrial waste, short-term burn out, and a lot of marketing
>>>> So, this press release from 2007 is a lie?
>>> "Nanosolar said Tuesday it has begun production at its San Jose, Calif.,
>>> facility and has shipped its commercial thin-film panels to its first
>>> customer, Beck Energy."
>>> And they lie on their web site about shipping products?
>>> # Nanosolar Utility Panel™.
>>> Specifically designed for utility-scale power plants, Nanosolar Utility
>>> Panel™ is the industry-best solution for MW-sized PV systems.
>>> A high-power, high-current panel, the Nanosolar Utility Panel™ features
>>> proprietary cell and panel design innovations that enable our panel
>>> to have an entire factor more power and to carry 5-10 times more current
>>> than typical thin-film panels.
>>> Available wholesale to select system integrators and electric utilities.
>>> # Nanosolar SolarPly™.
>>> Light-weight solar-electric cell foil which can be cut to any size.
>>> Non-fragile. No soldering required for electrical contact.
>>> Available wholesale to strategic partners.
>>> And the people who just invested US$300 million dollars in them (beyond
>>> earlier US$200 million) just now are just complete gullible idiots?
>>> "As part of a strategic $300 million equity financing, Nanosolar has
>>> new capital and brought its total amount of funding to date to just below
>>> half a billion U.S. dollars. ... Last December, we introduced the
>>> Utility Panel(TM) to enable solar utility power — i.e. giving
>>> power producers the solar panel technology to build and operate cost
>>> efficient solar power plants. The tremendous demand for our unique
>>> was matched by the desire to support us in scaling its availability even
>>> more rapidly and ambitiously. ... The new capital will allow us to
>>> accelerate production expansion for our 430MW San Jose factory and our
>>> Berlin factory. (Earlier, Nanosolar secured a 50% capex subsidy on its
>>> Germany based factory.)"
>>> OK, a lot of investors are sometimes idiots, I'll agree. :-)
>>> But then are the twenty jobs listed here perhaps just for show?
>>> So, let's say Nanosolar is just hype. Lots of companies have raise
>>> of millions or even billions on hype, sure, though generally in the dot
>>> bubble. Lots of companies have shipped product that later were defective
>>> that did not perform as expected. Anybody can put up a web site that says
>>> anything, especially a private company. OK, so for the sake of argument,
>>> let's say it is just hype.
>>> And let's say that the Google billionaires who funded Nansolar are unable
>>> to do any sort of due diligence like from using a search engine or hiring
>>> someone to do it for them. Billionaires invest in all sorts of nutty
>>> like "Cheap Access to Space (CATS)" instead of "Design of Great
>>> (DOGS)". :-) And investing in green energy is, admittedly, great PR for
>>> Google. So, maybe it is just that.
>>> So, now that we have dismissed Nanosolar as hype, :-) consider what this
>>> publicly traded company (First Solar) is saying:
>>> "By enabling clean, renewable electricity at lower costs, First Solar is
>>> providing a sustainable alternative to conventional energy sources. This
>>> goal has driven First Solar to become one of the fastest growing
>>> manufacturers of solar modules in the world. First Solar FS Series 2 PV
>>> Modules represent the latest advancements in solar module technology, and
>>> are rapidly driving the cost of solar electricity to rates comparable
>>> traditional fossil fuel-based energy sources."
>>> Sure, some weasel words there "comparable" and "rapidly". Could be twice
>>> much in fifty years, right?
>>> Or pundits:
>>> "The quest for inexpensive solar panels continues, with cadmium telluride
>>> generating enthusiasm among investors and hopeful followers of the
>>> of alternative energy technologies. Over at IEEE Spectrum, Richard
>>> speculates that First Solar might beat over 80 competitors to achieve
>>> manufacturing costs low enough to market solar panels at less than $1 per
>>> Watt, the target considered necessary for solar to compete with
>>> electricity on the grid."
>>> And they have 84 jobs listed here in our job-meltdown economy:
>>> Is that because everyone is leaving First Solar too because of hype? :-)
>>> And while you are at it, you might as well edit their Wikipedia page to
>>> reflect whatever you know to be the correct figures for this part:
>>> The manufacturing cost per watt reached $1.23 in 2007 and $1.08 in 2008.
>>> February 24, 2009, the cost / watt broke the $1 barrier with .98 cents a
>>> watt. First Solar is contractually bound to reduce price per watt by 6.5%
>>> per year and plans to be competitive on an unsubsidized basis with retail
>>> electricity by 2010. 
>>> From the referenced SEC document:
>>> "Our objective is to become, by 2010, the first solar module manufacturer
>>> to offer a solar electricity solution that generates electricity on a
>>> non-subsidized basis at a price equal to the price of retail electricity
>>> key markets in North America, Europe and Asia."
>>> So, are you are basically saying, all this is "Lies, ALL LIES", as Frau
>>> Farbissina did in Austin Powers? :-)
>>> If so, maybe you should go to the SEC with your misgivings about First
>>> Solar? :-)
>>> I know, they did not listen to several people about the Bernard Madoff
>>> Pyramid scheme either, so why bother, right? :-)
>>> And I know, we saw it all before in the 1980s with the failure
>>> of Chronar, right? I literally was in a laundry room in some grad student
>>> housing at Princteton when someone who worked there told me about "short
>>> I still have one of their small panels for car battery trickle charging.
>>> "September 17, 1990 PRINCETON, N.J. - Without an immediate injection of
>>> cash, Chronar Corp. may be forced to suspend its operations and seek
>>> protection under federal bankruptcy laws. ..."
>>> People really seem determined to fight abundance to the end. :-(
>>> Fossil fuels have been a physically dirty business for a long time, but
>>> they have also been an economically dirty business for a long time. Why
>>> should now, at the end, be any different?
>>> --Paul Fernhout
>>> p2presearch mailing list
>>> p2presearch at listcultures.org
> p2presearch mailing list
> p2presearch at listcultures.org
Work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhurakij_Pundit_University - Research:
http://www.dpu.ac.th/dpuic/info/Research.html - Think thank:
P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net
Connect: http://p2pfoundation.ning.com; Discuss:
Updates: http://del.icio.us/mbauwens; http://friendfeed.com/mbauwens;
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the p2presearch