Saturday, November 5, 2011

My prediction for 2100

Another week has passed and another Greek scare spooked the markets. This was another week of increasing carbon emissions and population growth. Auto sales for October in the USA were up on last year and folks continue to buy SUVs and pickup trucks. It is business as usual. I too am a culprit I had to drive to several business meetings this week and I racked up 200 miles of driving for the week instead of my normal 100 miles. I am still well below the average US motorist who racks up almost 300 miles a week. The San Francisco Bay Area had nice weather this week so no heating or air conditioning of my house was needed.

The news from our friends at A 123 Batteries is that they will fall far short of their revenue projections now that Fisker has reduced their purchases of battery packs for the Karma. This was not news to me but was to stock market. A123 dropped on NASDAQ-AONE to $3.17, it traded for $9 a share a year ago. Remember about a year ago I wrote that A123 was likely to have a very hard time in the marketplace. Here is what the A123 CEO reported. CEO David Viveau said in a statement that Fisker Automotive is cutting its battery pack order for the fourth quarter as it balances inventory levels from suppliers. Viveau said A123's relationship with Fisker is still strong and that it expects the reduction to be temporary. A few weeks back I wrote about Al Gore and the DOE loaning Fisker money. AONE is not alone, ENER1 is now a penny stocks, and Valence and Advanced Batteries are also trading near a buck a share.

The lithium battery guys are joined by the alternate fuels guys in sucking wind on Wall Street. Amyris, Solarzyme, Kior, Gevo, and Codexis are all struggling stocks. This is not about individual companies being managed well or poorly, it all relates to how difficult it is to mimic the energy content and cost of fossil fuels. The debate on shale natural gas rages on but we are somewhat fortunate that an increasing amount of shale gas is being produced and more power is being generated using natural gas rather than coal. The US is on course to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 1% this year. Part is a result of the economic slowdown but a large part is due to reduced coal usage and increased natural gas usage in electric power generation. President Obama should point to natural gas as a success story in the US energy arena as there are simply many failures in the alternate energy space. Thermodynamics tells us that the carbon hydrogen bond is one powerful source of energy and methane having four carbon hydrogen bonds in a very compact molecule is an energy source with concentrated power. While the US has reduced its CO2 emissions over 2010, China and India are headed in the opposite directions. It is likely that global CO2 emissions in 2011 will be 5 to 6% higher than in 2010. I wish I could say otherwise but my belief is that global CO2 emissions will continue to grow at approximately 5% each year over the remainder of this decade.

The UN is predicting a world in 2100 that has essentially depleted all of its oil reserves yet has a population of 10 billion humans. My prediction for 2100 is that we have a world population of about 8 billion and still have some oil, coal and natural gas to burn. We will have personal vehicles that weigh 1,000 pounds instead of 4,000 pounds and the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere will be 800 parts per million more than twice our 392 parts per million that was measured in July of this year. Where the 8 billion people will live and how they will pray to God is something I cannot even hazard a guess at, as I am sure wars will be raged, diseases and famine will plague us, and migrations will continue. I am certain that Department of Entropy will still be funding alternate energy ideas with borrowed money all the way through 2100