Friday, May 1, 2015

Our System is Incredible (Stupid)

Thanks for the links! Our system is incredible. The system of peer reviewed papers and academics working in very narrow areas of study makes certain that no one will figure out what is going on. This is especially the case, when funding for the system depends on grants, and these grants depend on spouting the standard line of reasoning and coming up with a way that makes the politicians look good and also makes it look like any problem we have is tiny.

I am also beginning to think that our method of using “models” for everything is getting in the way of clear thinking. Once we have a model, it seems to inhibit clear thinking–does this model really make sense? One model is that debt will nearly always be repaid with interest. Another is that it doesn’t matter how much something costs, because we pay each other’s wages. (The key is useful “final outputs” like barrels of oil, kWh of electricity instead.) Another is EROEI–it is a wrong estimate of what should be maximized. The estimate needs to be cost-based, not based on energy inputs we can count. And published climate models are only “sort of right.” They leave out the important role limits other than climate play. Even “renewables will save us” seems to be built on a simple-minded model. - Gail Tverberg

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