Box Office: ‘Gravity’ No. 1 Again With $31 Million; ‘Fifth Estate’ Flops With $1.7 Million

Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity and Paul Greengrass‘ adult drama Captain Phillips served up a one-two punch at the North American box office as they stayed at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, to beat a host of newcomers.

Gravity fell only 28 percent in its third weekend to $31 million, pushing its domestic total to $170.6 million for Warner Bros. Starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips likewise impressed. The Sony pic dropped 33 percent to $17.3 million for a 10-day domestic total of $53.3 million.

Gravity‘s stellar box office run continues to impress box office observers. It remains a huge draw in 3D and in Imax, which has now delivered a total $38 million in total ticket sales. Over the weekend, Imax grosses clocked in at $7.4 million, the second best showing for a film in its third weekend after Avatar.

Overseas, Captain Phillips opened to a promising $9.1 million in 11 markets, including a No. 1 finish in the U.K. with $5.6 million and ahead of other adult dramas including Argo and The Social Network.

STORY: CinemaScore in Retreat as Studios Turn to PostTrak 

Heading into the weekend, many box office observers believed Sony and MGM’s Carrie had a shot at crossing $20 million in its North American opening, but the remake topped out at $17 million to come in No. 3. The pic was fueled by females (54 percent) and moviegoers under the age of 25 (56 percent).

Directed by Kimberly Pierce, Carrie stars Chloe Grace Moretz in the title role opposite Julianne Moore. MGM and Sony’s Screen Gems spent under $30 million to produce the horror pic, which received a B- CinemaScore and opens more than three decades after Brian De Palma‘s original Carrie opened in theaters.

Sony’s three films — Captain Phillips, Carrie and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 — claimed spots No. 2 through No. 4 on the box office chart, with Cloudy 2‘s total domestic gross now at $93.1 million.

“It’s not a bad place to be,” said Sony president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer. “In regards to Carrie, it opened within our expectations, although maybe on the lower end. Overall, the picture was made very reasonably and it will be success for us.”

Coming in No. 5 was newcomer Escape Plan, the action pic hoping to capitalize on the teaming of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But hopes were dashed as the movie only took in $9.8 million, marking another blow for Schwarzenegger’s campaign to resurrect his acting career.

Summit Entertainment and Emmett/Furla films partnered on Escape Plan, which cost north of $70 million before tax rebates. The pic, formerly titled The Tomb, received a B+ CinemaScore and was fueled by males (55 percent).

Escape Plan is doing marginally better overseas, where it has now earned $14.1 million from 34 territories. It opened No. 2 in Russia over the weekend with $3 million.

THR COVER: The Confessions of Benedict Cumberbatch 

Bill Condon‘s adult thriller The Fifth Estate fared even worse in its North American launch, grossing an abysmal $1.7 million from 1,769 theaters to place No. 8. The movie — marking the worst debut of 2013 so far for a movie opening in more than 1,500 theaters — received a B CinemaScore, mirroring mixed reviews.

From DreamWorks and Participant Media, the $26 million film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, the controversial founder of WikiLeaks. Insiders close to the project concede that Americans appear to have little interest in WikiLeaks or its founder. However, Fifth Estate is likewise struggling overseas, where it has only taken in $1.6 million so far.

In North America, Fifth Estate was even edged out by Nicole Holofcener‘s dramedy Enough Said, starring the late James Gandolfini opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, which appeared back on the top 10 chart as it upped its theater count to 757 locations, grossing $1.8 million for a total $10.8 million.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thr/news/~3/PilaoVp1Yo0/box-office-gravity-no-1-649646
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Ben Stein: 4 Warnings Revealed by Government … – Yahoo Finance

According to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (MHFI) the recently concluded government shutdown cost a total of $24 billion. Due to this unanticipated expense, the ratings agency has lowered its fourth-quarter GDP estimate by a minimum of .6%. If there’s anything of which the nation can be completely certain, it’s this: That number is inaccurate and ultimately unimportant.

If there are lessons to be learned from the ongoing, shambling disaster of a debt ceiling fight/Obamacare showdown, they are philosophical and long term. Economics is a social science. There’s no need for higher math, just higher thinking. In the attached clip author, economist, pundit, lawyer and general polymath Ben Stein shares takeaway lessons from the last three weeks.

The country is angry, divided, confused.

“We learned how very angry and divided this country is. And learning that people opposed to the entitlement state are ready to take extremely drastic action to stop it… some kind of process of national reconciliation must be going on,” says Stein. We knew we were angry, but the price of the reconciliation between entitlement and taxation factions is growing.

The nature of the debate was disheartening, as neither side had a realistic perspective on the balance between income (taxes) and expenditures. This wasn’t a serious debate about budgets, but rather a heated exchange between ideologues. The real conversation wasn’t about tightening our national belt, it was about which group got a bigger portion of assumed deficits.

“We cannot both be a high-entitlement state and a low-tax state,” Stein states plainly. “Arithmetic is the boss.”

Unfortunately for the extreme right, the sword cuts both ways. We don’t simply have a spending problem, we’re not paying our share.

Supply-side economics does not work. It’s a disaster we have over the long period, and it’s just going to get worse.

While sympathetic to the views of those willing to take extreme stances against the “entitlement state,” Stein also thinks our taxes are simply too low for the services we have now. Forget Obamacare for a moment and remember that, for decades, America has run balanced budgets for only brief periods of time. Balanced budgets are flukes stemming from high taxes produced by economic bubbles and a one-time Cold War dividend.

“We got to this crisis because we lowered taxes too much,” Stein explains. “We have to raise taxes or else drastically lower entitlements — which we’re not going to do.”

Taxes have become the new third rail.

A long-time Republican who wrote speeches for both Nixon and Ford, Stein wonders at the way Republicans have somehow taken serious conversations about taxes off the agenda. Railing against entitlements incites the pitchfork- and torch-wielding masses, but only in the abstract.

We rail against excess, but “raise the retirement age to 75” is hardly a Republican battle cry. America is an aging nation with an insufficient tax base. No politician on earth — of either side — is willing to address the fact that paying for the Boomers through their dotage is going to require more tax revenue or a willingness to eliminate entitlements that even the staunchest conservative takes for granted.

The end isn’t near.

Pointing to Japan’s debt-to-GDP ratio, Stein notes that it’s entirely possible, even probable, that the U.S.’s day of reckoning can be held off for a long time — but not forever. Forget the threat of China buying our debt. The real creditor of the U.S. is the Federal Reserve.

Paraphrasing his father, Stein notes that if something can’t go on forever it won’t. The current fiscal pattern is dysfunctional in a bipartisan way. As Stein sees it, taxes are going to have to come up under any circumstance and entitlements are going to have to be discussed in a grown-up way.

What we ultimately learned from the last three weeks is valuable but painful: The country is divided, entrenched and uniformly delusional. We haven’t seen the last of this ridiculous showdown.

More from Breakout:

Time to Dump the Debt Ceiling Once and for All?

T-Mobile Knocking Down Everything You Hate About Wireless: Pogue

J.C. Penney & Sears: Why They’re Not Dead Yet!

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/ben-stein-4-lessons-learned-government-shutdown-161826394.html
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Intel’s Bay Trail chips to hit 10 tablets, hybrids next month

Intel’s recently introduced Atom chips code-named Bay Trail will be in 10 tablets and hybrids by the end of November, when the U.S. holiday shopping season takes off.

That’s less than Intel hoped for, but it is faster adoption for Atom chips in tablets than for their predecessors, said Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO, during a call on Tuesday to discuss third-quarter earnings.

“We’ve seen 50 design wins with half of them being 2-in-1 devices,” Krzanich said. “We see it continuing to grow as we enter next year.”

Intel is using the term “2-in-1” to describe hybrids, which can function as both tablets and laptops. Detachable keyboards can be attached to turn tablets into laptops.

Good battery life promised

The first Bay Trail tablets that have already been announced run on Windows 8.1 and start at $299. But there will be new tablets running on Android by Thanksgiving weekend, Krzanich said. Intel has projected Bay Trail tablets with Android to start as low as $150.

Windows-based Bay Trail tablets have already been announced by Dell, Toshiba, Asustek Computer, and Hewlett-Packard. Bay Trail chips are expected to provide more than eight hours of battery life. The chips are capable of better graphics than previous chips code-named Clover Trail.

The first Bay Trail tablets will have only 32-bit versions of Windows 8.1. The first 64-bit tablets will come in the first quarter of next year, Intel has said.

Krzanich recognized the importance of the tablet market and said the company needs to accelerate growth in the area as PC shipments slump. Intel is also trying to push its fourth-generation Core processors code-named Haswell into tablets and hybrids. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 tablet, which ships on Oct. 21, runs on the Haswell processor.

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Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2054980/intels-bay-trail-chips-to-hit-10-tablets-hybrids-next-month.html#tk.rss_all
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Senior Dutch Diplomat Beaten in Anti-Gay Moscow Incident

MOSCOW — A senior Dutch diplomat has been beaten up and had a crude anti-gay slogan scrawled on a mirror at his home in Moscow.

Two men posing as electricians bound and beat Onno Elderenbosch, the 60-year-old deputy head of mission at the Netherlands embassy in Moscow, after forcing their way into his apartment Tuesday night, Oct 16.

The men ransacked his apartment, drew a heart and “LGBT” (standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) in pink lipstick on a mirror before leaving without taking anything.

The incident comes at a time of international condemnation of new laws forbidding the promotion of homosexual lifestyles to minors.

Last week, Dutch actors appearing at a St. Petersburg theater festival spoke out in public against the laws.

It also comes days after a Russian diplomat, Dmitry Borodin, was assaulted by Dutch police in The Hague straining diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Dutch police forcibly arrested the Russian diplomat in front of his two small children after reports he had been mistreating them.

The Russian diplomat was detained for several hours, breaching rules on diplomatic immunity.

Russia media today were quick to draw parallels between the two incidents, dubbing the attack on Elderenbosch, a “mirror image” of the Borodin incident, noting that both men hold positions at the same diplomatic level.

The latest incident is likely to worsen relations between the two countries, already strained by the arrest of the 30 crew aboard the Dutch-flagged Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise campaigning against oil drilling in the Arctic.

Tuesday evening’s attack on the Dutch diplomat occurred when he returned home to find the lift in his apartment block not working. Climbing to his fourth-floor flat he found two men posing as electricians working on the lift’s control panel.

Seeing there was no light on the entire floor he offered to check the lights in his apartment, where he was pushed to the ground by the two men and bound with tape.

Elderenbosch was not badly hurt in the attack and has not filed an assault complaint, according to Russian authorities.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thr/international/~3/1eHULGDB390/story01.htm
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Box Office: ‘Captain Phillips’ Enjoying Strong Friday, But ‘Gravity’ Is Still No. 1

Sony’s Captain Phillips is doing solid matinee business at the Friday box office, putting the adult drama on course to gross north of $20 million in its North American debut.

PHOTOS: On Board With ‘Captain Phillips’: Exclusive Portraits of Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi

But Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity remains the bigger play and will have no trouble staying at No. 1. Friday’s numbers suggest that the Warner Bros. space epic, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, will earn north of $35 million or more in its second weekend, pushing the film’s North American total to upwards of $100 million by Sunday.

Directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips hopes to repeat the success of fellow adult drama Argo, which debuted in early October 2012 to $19.5 million. Captain Phillips, based on real events and hoping to be an awards player, should benefit from strong reviews. The movie earned $600,000 Thursday night.

PHOTOS: 25 of Fall’s Most Anticipated Movies

After Captain Phillips, the weekend’s only other new wide player is exploitation action film Machete Kills, from writer-director Robert Rodriguez. Machete Kills is expected to open in the $7 million to $8 million range. Open Road paid $2 million to distribute the film, so it has limited financial exposure.

With a cast led by Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez, Machete Kills is the third film based on the fake trailers accompanying Grindhouse.

Relativity is launching third-party title Romeo & Juliet, starring Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth as the star-crossed lovers, in a more limited run of 400-plus theaters. Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes wrote the screenplay for the film, which is helmed by Carlo Carlei.

Relativity doesn’t have any financial exposure on the film since it is a rent-a-system deal.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thr/news/~3/kYV_4wY-CPs/box-office-captain-phillips-enjoying-647851
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Energy, ecology, and economics revisited | Peak Oil News and …

header3Es-1

header3Es-1

We must understand the concept of net energy in order to see the underlying energetic basis for society. Yet net energy is often misunderstood, typically through optimistic measures of valuation that do not address the hidden inputs.

Perhaps HT Odum’s clearest, simplest, most understandable paper on the topic was written 40 years ago, in a special issue of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science’s Energy in Society issue of Ambio (1973). The article was republished in Mother Earth News, still available online through Minnesotans for Sustainability. The paper remains as relevant and fundamental to the arguments for net energy today as it did 40 years ago. Each time I read the paper, I find new meaning from it.

Perhaps it is time to revisit the principles quoted below from the paper, to update the terms and give modern examples of the interrelationships between the 3Es of energy, ecology, and economics. Some of the terminology and accounting methods have been refined over time, but the general principles remain unchanged–principles that are essential to the energy dialogue.

1. “The true value of energy to society is the net energy, which is what’s left after the energy costs of getting and concentrating that energy are subtracted.”

All processes in the world involve energy, materials, and information. Materials are transformed through energy, which drives the process of creating every good, service, and environmental process. Information guides the process of transformation. Energy has different qualities, so a calorie of one form of energy is not the same in quality as a calorie of another form, as certain forms of energy are not substitutable, depending on the situation. A calorie of sunlight may not be substituted for a calorie of oil or of food. In order to compare apples and oranges, we need to create a common denominator. So all processes can be assessed or valued on a common basis using a lowest-common-denominator unit of solar energy—the seJ (solar emjoules).

The science of Emergy accounting places values on the energy, information, and materials in the processes, allowing us to choose more efficient policies. Emergy is defined as the available energy of one kind that is used up in transformations directly and indirectly to make a product or service. Real wealth, then, can be measured as the emergy memory that exists in human goods and services, and in non-human environmental goods and services. Odum’s updated term for net energy is net emergy or net empower. The true cost of a process to society is the net emergy, which is the emergy delivered after the emergy costs of getting and concentrating that energy are subtracted.

Net emergy contribution of any process within the economy including energy production can be calculated using an Emergy Yield Ratio, which is the net energy yield of a process expressed in emergy, divided by the purchased goods and services, which are also expressed in emergy. The EYR includes the contributions for renewable and non-renewable sources, and inputs such as human labor/services and environmental contributions, using a quality correction factor for energies of different qualities. Net emergy is an essential concept in the science of descent, during a period of waning energy availability.

Brown, Cohen, & Sweeney, 2009 Brown, Cohen, & Sweeney, 2009

Brown, Cohen, & Sweeney, 2009

2. “Worldwide inflation is driven in part by the increasing fraction of our fossil fuels that have to be used in getting more fossil and other fuels.”

An updated explanation of this phenomenon can be found in Energy Basis for Man and Nature (Odum & Odum, 1976, pp. 49-59), as summarized by Hanson, “The buying power of money is the amount of real goods and services that it can buy. If the amount a dollar can buy diminishes, this is called inflation. Inflation can be caused by increasing the amount of money circulating without increasing the amount of energy flowing and doing work, for example, when more money is printed. It can also occur when the money supply is constant but less work is done, for example, because energy becomes scarce. As long as there is unused fuel energy to be tapped, increasing the money supply can increase the flow of energy through the system, causing growth as well as some inflation.” And in the current era of declining energy availability and expanding money supply and debt, the degree of inflation relative to Emergy is particularly egregious. The graph below illustrates the calculated steady decline of Emergy per dollar value of gross world product since 1970, demonstrating a loss in value of about 33%.

Brown & Ulgiati 2011 http://www.mendeley.com/research/understanding-global-economic-crisis-biophysical-perspective/Brown & Ulgiati 2011 http://www.mendeley.com/research/understanding-global-economic-crisis-biophysical-perspective/

Brown & Ulgiati 2011 http://www.mendeley.com/research/understanding-global-economic-crisis-biophysical-perspective/

3. “Many calculations of energy reserves which are supposed to offer years of supply are as gross energy rather than net energy and thus may be of much shorter duration than often stated.”

Because the emergy valuation method is notable for including human labor and environmental goods and services in the valuation of a process, the net emergy yield for energy sources tends to be lower than other methods that do not include all inputs. Below is a diagram from Chapter 3 of a pending book by Mark T. Brown and Sergio Ulgiati on Emergy and environmental accounting, posted here with permission. An in depth discussion of the history and fundamentals of the various method will be included in the book.

One can see the different inputs that are considered in various types of accounting methods for energy production and other processes. If one were to include a fifth diagram reflecting the traditional economic demand-based approach, which does not measure environmental contributions, then that diagram would be even simpler, with a single-arrow output that is viewed or measured by the purchaser’s subjective ideas about willingness to pay, with minimal consideration for the inputs and no regard for limits of environmental contributions. It would be helpful to this discussion if we examined the various energy accounting methods and the ranges of net energy estimated from each one, and placed them on a continuum. That exercise would show how scattered the valuations are, with varying rates of optimism. But that is not today’s goal in this post.

From a pending book by Brown and Ulgiati, chapter 3From a pending book by Brown and Ulgiati, chapter 3

From a pending book by Brown and Ulgiati, chapter 3, used with permission

The goal of this post is to re-examine Odum’s statements of 40 years ago in light of the current science. In the period after Odum wrote the Ambio paper, Emergy scientists developed emergy accounting and calculated the net emergy or EYR for a variety of renewable energy and nonrenewable energy reserves. The ranges in the table below show values of EYR for a number of settings and processes over several decades. Net emergy is declining over time for these sources, so many of these values are now lower than what is published in the table. How many wrong policy guesses have occurred in various countries attempting to produce marginal sources? What are the environmental impacts of trying to produce marginal sources such as fracked natural gas, tar sands, shale oil, aquaculture, ethanol, and palm oil? How many wrong guesses on net energy policies are we allowed?

Odum, 2007, p. 201Odum, 2007, p. 201

Odum, 2007, p. 201

4. “Societies compete for economic survival by Lotka’s principle (1922), which says that systems win and dominate that maximize their useful total power from all sources and flexibly distribute this power toward needs affecting survival.”

(From MT Brown Lecture 2)(From MT Brown Lecture 2)

Mechanisms of Maximum Empower (From MT Brown Lecture 2)

Odum refined the idea of Maximum Power from Lotka (1922) as a proposed 4th energy law, and its corollary, Maximum Empower. Individuals and systems that maximize energy flow and power flow (empower) through systems have an advantage in competing with other systems for available energy. Systems develop mechanisms of feedbacks, high quality storages, and systems of exchange to maximize energy flow (see diagram above).

For examples of this in modern economies, look at the United States. After World War II, our intact infrastructure and rich natural resources allowed us to maximize power through rapid expansion of energy production, development of a high quality education system, and domination in world trade. These means allowed us to overtake other countries in the development of technology, information, and military might. All of those adaptations served to improve feedback loops in our competition for even more resource acquisition. Power begets more power.

5. “During times when there are opportunities to expand one’s power inflows, the survival premium by Lotka’s principle is on rapid growth even though there may be waste.”

Using this same example, America’s empire development in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in rapid expansion of energy production, industrialization, highway systems, suburbanization, industrial agriculture, and finally a high-tech information society. Competitive and predatory capitalism, an expansive, debt-based financial system, and a large construction industry promoted rapid growth which gave the United States a great advantage in global trade, creating inequities and power imbalances.

6. “During times when energy flows have been tapped and there are no new sources, Lotka’s principle requires that those systems win that do not attempt fruitless growth but instead use all available energies in long-staying, high-diversity, steady-state works.”

from Mark T. Brown's Democracy Lecturefrom Mark T. Brown's Democracy Lecture

from Mark T. Brown’s Democracy Lecture

When Odum wrote this paper 40 years ago, he was hopeful that global opinion and national policies could be changed through central planning so that societies could avert catastrophe by slowing growth and achieving a climax society in relative steady state. But that did not happen. We are now in overshoot, and over the past 40 years, signs that the United States and the world at large are slowly losing emergy flow per capita can be seen in indirect proxies such as failing wages, failing middle class, and collapsing empires.

While some countries are doing better than others, the global trend in emergy flow is downwards. Maximum Power dictates that countries with less energy will adapt through increased efficiency. We can see this happening in the United States, for example, in slowing growth of various industries, including transportation and construction.

7. “High quality of life for humans and equitable economic distribution are more closely approximated in steady-state than in growth periods.”

For points #7 and #8, I will let Odum’s words speak for themselves:

“During growth, emphasis is on competition, and large differences in economic and energetic welfare develop; competitive exclusion, instability, poverty, and unequal wealth are characteristic. During steady state, competition is controlled and eliminated, being replaced with regulatory systems, high division and diversity of labor, uniform energy distributions, little change, and growth only for replacement purposes. Love of stable-system quality replaces love of net gain. Religious ethics adopt something closer to that of those primitive peoples that were formerly dominant in zones of the world with cultures based on the steady energy flows from the sun. Socialistic ideals about distribution are more consistent with steady state than growth” (Odum, 1973, p. 222).

8. “The successfully competing economy must use its net output of richer-quality energy flows to subsidize the poorer-quality energy flow so that the total power is maximized.”

“In ecosystems, diversity of species develop that allow more of the energies to be tapped. Many of the species that are specialists in getting lesser and residual energies receive subsidies from the richer components. For example, the sun leaves on top of trees transport fuels that help the shaded leaves so they can get some additional energy from the last rays of dim light reaching the forest floor. The system that uses its excess energies in getting a little more energy, even from sources that would not be net yielding alone, develops more total work and more resources for total survival. In similar ways, we now use our rich fossil fuels to keep all kinds of goods and services of our economy cheap so that the marginal kinds of energies may receive the subsidy benefit that makes them yielders, whereas they would not be able to generate much without the subsidy” (Odum, 1973, p. 223).

9. “Energy sources which are now marginal, being supported by hidden subsidies based on fossil fuel, become less economic when the hidden subsidy is removed.”

Stephanie McMillan Code GreenStephanie McMillan Code Green

Stephanie McMillan Code Green

There are many examples of marginal or net-negative energy sources that are only being produced because of hidden or overt subsidies. Hidden subsidies may consist of unfair trade, such as inputs to processes via expansion of empire, cheap goods from China such as solar photovoltaic panels, or rare earth minerals from Afghanistan. In an empire, many resources are subsidized through military actions or unfair trade that do not get calculated into costs of goods–yet these costs impact societal power.

Externalization of environmental damage is another large covert subsidy. Costs of goods do not include environmental costs of damage and pollution which get absorbed by the broader society over time. Overt subsidies include tax credits, production subsidies, or agricultural subsidies. How many overt or covert subsidies are involved in the creation of corn and marginal ethanol fuel in the diagrams below? Which components are not reflected in the economic price? If you want to learn more about this specific topic or what inputs contribute to an emergy analysis, the folio by Brandt-Williams (2002) analyzes the emergy basis including the inputs for 25 Florida agricultural commodities.

Cambell 2008 Emergy Brief Comparative Corn Production 4 statesCambell 2008 Emergy Brief Comparative Corn Production 4 states

Cambell 2008 Emergy Brief Comparative Corn Production 4 states

BioFuel_ProdBioFuel_Prod

10. “Increasing energy efficiency with new technology is not an energy solution, since most technological innovations are really diversions of cheap energy into hidden subsidies in the form of fancy, energy-expensive structures.”

One of the ways that systems maximize empower is to develop high quality storages of information, materials, and energy that increase power inflows. New technology is highly transformed, energy-intensive machinery and processes that add to the transformity and emergy basis of processes. Technology acts as a driver to promote faster use of energy. Technology in and of itself cannot power a system. For example, high-tech GMO-modified seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, feed lots, aquaculture, and other technologies expand rates of power flow through the system, technology by itself is useless without energy. Technologies add to the emergy basis of produced foods.

While the required other fuels, chemicals, and services allow larger yields in the short run, the system creates more wastes and is not sustainable when the fossil fuel subsidies are withdrawn. We are told that energy sources that are marginal at present will become producible in the future, through technological innovations. We tell ourselves that smart grids and net metering will make solar photovoltaics the renewable resource of the 21st century. Or electric vehicles are touted as energy solutions, even though the solar emergy required for an electric car is even higher than that of an internal combustion engine car, due to hidden costs of electricity, batteries, and new infrastructure. It is time for us to look beyond the hoods of our cars at the real cost to society, beyond the sticker price.

Ortega & Miller-Soybean Comparison http://www.unicamp.br/fea/ortega/italia/soybean-comparison.htmOrtega & Miller-Soybean Comparison http://www.unicamp.br/fea/ortega/italia/soybean-comparison.htm

Ortega & Miller-Soybean Comparison

Odum, 1987, Crafoord LectureOdum, 1987, Crafoord Lecture

Odum, 1987, Crafoord Lecture, modified from A. Brown

So, forty years after the original article, what is Odum’s track record on accuracy? Except for his hopeful stance on a climax steady state, Odum and colleagues’ estimates of which sources measure net benefits to society seem to be on track. This is part 1–that’s enough for now. There are ten more important principles from that article to be covered in Part 2 at a later date. I’ve avoided discussing nuclear and solar photovoltaic in this first part of the series, as Odum covered those specifically in the ideas in the next section of his paper.

Source: http://peakoil.com/consumption/energy-ecology-and-economics-revisited
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