Monthly Archives: March 2016

Millions of hours of magnetic tape will be lost forever

[ Sarah Everts writes about the race to save magnetic tape in the August 21, 2014 issue of NewScientist in Wiped out: The race to save our video heritage. This article suggests that the fix is to convert magnetic tape … Continue reading

Posted in Preservation of Knowledge | 1 Comment

Scientists on where to be in the 21st century based on sustainability

[Note: Hall & Day recently published a book based on the ideas below. America’s Most Sustainable Cities and Regions: Surviving the 21st Century Megatrends (book review). The magazine Popular Science also took a stab at the best places to be … Continue reading

Posted in Where to Be or Not to Be | Tagged , | 22 Comments

E. O. Wilson to save humanity from extinction, get rid of religion

[ Below is an excerpt, out of order, from New Scientist’s 21 Jan 2015 interview with E.O. Wilson “Religious faith is dragging us down“. The extinctions we cause will kill us too, says the sociobiology pioneer – the best thing … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity Loss, Extinction, Scientists Warnings to Humanity, World's Best Scientists | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Corrosion eats $552 billion infrastructure a year (6% of GDP)

USDOT. March 2002. Corrosion cost and preventive strategies in the United States. U.S. Department of transportation, Federal highway administration. 784 pages. NACE. Corrosion costs and preventive strategies in the United States.   [ United States infrastructure was built when the … Continue reading

Posted in Bridges, Oil & Gas, Railroads, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Coal plants are causing water shortages in China

Wong, E. March 22, 2016. Report Ties Coal Plants to Water Shortage in Northern China. New York Times. China’s consumption of coal, a major contributor to climate change and the country’s horrific air pollution, is worsening a severe water shortage … Continue reading

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Patzek 2016: Is “fracked” shale natural gas production peaking?

Patzek, Tad. March 11, 2016. Is U.S. Shale Oil & Gas Production Peaking? Part I: Gas Production. Patzek-lifeitself.blogspot.com Part I of this post shows my calculations of ultimate gas recovery from the Barnett, Fayetteville, Haynesville and Marcellus shales.  They might … Continue reading

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Not enough lithium for electric car batteries

Vikström, H., Davidsson, S., Höök, M. 2013. Lithium availability and future production outlooks. Applied Energy, 110(10): 252-266. 28 pages [ This is by far the best paper explaining lithium reserves, lithium chemistry, recycling, political implications, and more. I’ve left out … Continue reading

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Who Killed the Electric Car and more importantly, the Electric Truck?

Preface. Who cares about electric cars?  Civilization ends when trucks stop running, and trucks can’t run on batteries because they’re too heavy (93% of the cargo weight, 25% of the cargo space), and an all-electric truck fleet would require thousands … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Batteries, Critical Thinking, Electric trucks impossible, Electrification, Transportation, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Who Killed the Electric Car and more importantly, the Electric Truck?

Phosphate: All hopes rest on Morocco with 75% of remaining reserves

[ If you look around for what share Morocco has of phosphate reserves, you’ll see figures of 75 to 85% that will last 300-400 years.  But that may not be correct, as Walan et al point out in this paper. … Continue reading

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Don’t export LNG to Europe, they have their own natural gas

[ The congressional record is full of senators, representatives, and witnesses trying to sell U.S. shale “fracked” gas as LNG to Europe so that they aren’t beholden to Russia, and of course to make more money. There are never any … Continue reading

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