Monthly Archives: January 2020

After peak oil we need small family farms. But U.S. farms are getting even bigger

Preface. Oh dear, wrong direction! Eventually 75 to 90% of Americans will need to be farmers to feed their family and support craftsmen and others in towns, just as it always was before fossil fuels arrived. These big farms are … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture | 2 Comments

Northeast apple production suffering from Climate Change

Preface. Although this article is only about one crop in one area, it portends a darker future for food production in the future, with each region having their own issues (i.e. drought in California). It’s only a matter of time … Continue reading

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When wood once again becomes our main energy source, how long will it last?

Preface. Since we’re going back to wood as our main energy and infrastructure source after fossil fuels deplete, I thought it would be interesting to try to get an idea of how wood stacks up against other energy resources (below).   … Continue reading

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Generating electricity with biomass at utility-scale in California limited to direct combustion in small 50 MW plants

Preface. It’s obviously much easier and more energy efficient to set logs on fire for heat and electricity than to turn them into ethanol.   Burning biomass can’t do much to solve our energy crisis.  To produce just 10% of … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass, Electric Grid | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Steam powered farm tractors

Preface. Steam engines weren’t very efficient, 10 to 20% at best, which is why they went away beginning around 1920 when oil-powered engines came along.  At the very best steam engines for transportation reached 10 to 20% efficiency. They were … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass-powered Steam Engines | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Permafrost will limit natural gas, oil, and coal extraction

Preface. For many people, it’s comforting to know that about 25% of remaining oil and gas reserves (we have the know-how and economics to get it) and resources (beyond our technical and monetary capability) are in the arctic. They assume … Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, EROEI remaining oil too low, How Much Left, Peak Natural Gas, Peak Oil, Reserves Lower than stated, Roads, Transportation | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Permafrost will limit natural gas, oil, and coal extraction

Charcoal for the high heat needed in manufacturing after peak oil

Preface. De Decker (2011) writes: “A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by heat. Cooking, space heating and water heating dominate domestic energy consumption. In the UK, these activities account for 85% of domestic energy use, in Europe for … Continue reading

Posted in Manufacturing & Industrial Heat, Peak Biofuels, Wood | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Why self-driving cars may not be in your future

Preface. Below are excerpts from several articles about why a completely automated vehicle is unlikely.  Heaven forbid they are invented. Researchers have found that people will drive 76% more miles, stop using bicycles and mass transit, waste a considerable amount … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Foreign Policy: The limits of clean energy

Preface. This article appeared in the magazine Foreign Policy. Some of the points made are: Renewables to power the world would require 34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Consumption, Mining, Peak Lithium | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Airplanes are energy gluttons. Finite oil should be used for ships, trains, and trucks instead.

Preface. As oil declines and the energy crisis worsens, airplanes ought to be the first to go since they are 600 times less energy efficient than large cargo ships (30,000 / 50), 50 to 120 times less efficient than trains, … Continue reading

Posted in Airplanes, Transportation | 4 Comments