Monthly Archives: August 2015

Vaclav Smil on natural gas (ethane) and plastics

Vaclav Smil. 2013. Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization.  Wiley. Polyethylene (PE) is by far the most important thermoplastic (it accounted for 29% of the world’s aggregate plastic output, or roughly 77 Mt, in 2010), polypropylene (PP) comes next … Continue reading

Posted in Natural Gas, Vaclav Smil | Comments Off on Vaclav Smil on natural gas (ethane) and plastics

Will we go out with a whimper instead of a bang? Cyberwar more likely than nuclear war

[ A book review by Alice Friedemann of “CYBER WAR. The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It” by Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy … Continue reading

Posted in Cyber, CyberAttack Book Reviews, CyberAttacks, Cyberattacks, War | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pedro Prieto – what life used to be like decades ago in small Spanish villages

 [I’m reading James Howard Kunstler’s excellent trilogy “A World Made By Hand” now to get an idea of what life might be like post-peak when the worst of the crisis is over. Prieto’s vivid descriptions are wonderful, I wish he’d … Continue reading

Posted in Pedro Prieto | Tagged | Comments Off on Pedro Prieto – what life used to be like decades ago in small Spanish villages

Dmitry Orlov: How Russians survived the collapse of the Soviet Union

[ A great post by Dmitry Orlov about what collapse may be like, the best strategies to survive, and why the Russian way of life and culture prepared them far better for hard times than will be the case in … Continue reading

Posted in Dmitry Orlov, Experts, Russia, Where to Be or Not to Be | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dmitry Orlov: How Russians survived the collapse of the Soviet Union

When will the Alaska pipeline turn into an 800-mile-long Popsicle?

[Below are excerpts on the Alaskan pipeline from Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman.  This is a great book, yet leaves so many possible rust stories uncovered, that I hope Waldman writes Rust II (or any other topic — … Continue reading

Posted in Flow Rate, Threats to oil supply | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

900 Tons of material to build just 1 windmill

You ought to watch “MidAmerican Energy Company – From the Ground Up: Building our energy future, one turbine at a time“. The pictures from the video below are also powerful since they capture how low the EROI of wind power … Continue reading

Posted in Wind | 2 Comments

Utility, large-scale battery energy storage

Hodson, H. July 25, 2015. Power to the people. NewScientist. Demand for electricity varies every second, minute, hour, day, and season.  Production is easy to provide from always-ready natural gas and coal. But as we move towards a 100% renewable … Continue reading

Posted in Energy Storage | Comments Off on Utility, large-scale battery energy storage

Dozens of Reasons Why Wind power Will Not Outlast Fossil Fuels

SCALE.  Too many windmills need to be built to replace oil. Worldwide, 32,850 wind turbines with 70 to 100 meter blades generating 1.65 MW built every year for the next 50 years, or 1,642,000 total would be needed to replace … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dozens of Reasons Why Wind power Will Not Outlast Fossil Fuels

Robert McNally on energy at U.S. Congressional Hearings

[I think it is interesting to know what Congress hears about energy from experts, and what the official U.S. energy policies are.  It is frustrating that Energy Return on Invested (EROI) is never discussed, even by intelligent analysts like McNally.  … Continue reading

Posted in Congressional Record U.S., Other Experts | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Robert McNally on energy at U.S. Congressional Hearings

Why methanol is not an option to replace gasoline or diesel

[ Below is a U.S. House hearing on alternative fuels from which I’ve extracted the methanol portions.  Just a few of the reasons why this is not an option are: The California methanol effort was abandoned for many reasons, but … Continue reading

Posted in Methanol | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Why methanol is not an option to replace gasoline or diesel