Preface. Civilization is utterly dependent on fossil fuels for heavy-duty transportation (batteries are too heavy to scale up to trucks). Manufacturing also depends entirely on fossil fuels. Fossil-fueled industrial heat can not be replaced with renewables. In addition, over half a million products are made with fossil fuels as their feedstock and the energy to make them (such as plastics, paint, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing). And electricity itself mainly runs on fossil fuels (63% in the U.S.).
Most importantly, we are out of time. Peak oil arrived in 2018. We don’t have trucks that run on electricity, hydrogen, natural gas, liquefied coal, and so on, and as I make clear in my book “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, civilization ends within a week of when trucks stop running.
Alice Friedemann www.energyskeptic.com author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels, and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Collapse Chronicles, Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report
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Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI)
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Peak Natural Gas
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Tar Sands a.k.a. oil sands
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Kerogen a.k.a. Shale Oil
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IPCC models assume exponential consumption of fossils until 2400
Other scientists who realize that we are on the cusp of energy decline have plugged in realistic amounts of fossils and found we don’t have enough oil, coal, or natural gas left for a hothouse 8.5 future, at worst 4.5 to 5.5 for 500 to several thousand years.
Tang, X. 2013. Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change: a review. Energy Policy, 52: 797-809
Short term solutions for energy decline
- R. L. Hirsch. Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management 2005
- Howard Bucknell III. Energy and the National Defense. 1981
- Department of Energy. Standby Gasoline Rationing Plan. 1980
FYI, I have two articles published on biofuels here:
- Sheila Newman (ed) The Final Energy Crisis 2008
- Jacqueline Langwith, ed. Opposing Viewpoints: Renewable Energy, vol. 2 2008