Monthly Archives: November 2020

Book Review: The Fall of the Roman Empire: A new history of Rome and the barbarians

Preface.  Most historians see the fall of the Roman Empire as due to the invasion of barbarians from the North, partly pushed towards Italy by the brutal Huns.  These lands had never been conquered by Roman armies because they were … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations, Roman Empire | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Renewables must help pay for transmission and their energy storage backup of fossil power plants

Preface. Wind and solar advocates don’t include transmission and backup costs in their net energy calculations. But without fossil backup, the electric grid will come down due to lack of storage. There is almost nowhere left to put pumped hydro … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Grid, Energy Storage, Solar, Solar EROI, Wind, Wind EROI | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Invisible oiliness of everything

Preface.  Even a simple object like a pencil requires dozens of actions to make and dozens of objects that took energy to make.  This is why it is unlikely wind, solar, or any other contraption that make electricity, have a … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Alternative Energy, An Overview, EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Manufacturing & Industrial Heat, Wind | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Climate Change dominates news coverage at expense of other equally important existential issues

Preface. I’ve noticed that in the half dozen science magazines and several newspapers I get practically the only environmental stories are about climate change. Yet there are 8 other ecological boundaries (Rockström 2009) we must not cross (shown in bold … Continue reading

Posted in Acidification, Biodiversity Loss, BioInvasion, Climate Change, Critical Thinking, Peak Oil, Planetary Boundaries | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Telling others about peak oil and limits to growth

Preface. Obviously the planet is finite. We’re using many times more oil than we’re discovering, and therefore at some point global oil production will peak and decline.  Yet even in 2019 this reality is denied by most, so much so … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Limits To Growth, Peak Oil | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

What can California do about sea level rise?

Projected sea level rise from one meter (dark red) to six meters (light orange) in California’s Bay Area. (Weiss and Overpeck 2011) Preface. Nearly all, if not all, possible solutions to rising sea levels along all the coasts in the … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Infrastructure, Railroads, Roads, Sea Level Rise, Sewage treatment, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste disposal drilled deep into earth’s crust

Preface. One the greatest tragedies of the decline of oil will be all the nuclear waste left to harm future generations for up to a million years. We owe it to them to clean up our mess while we still … Continue reading

Posted in Nuclear Waste | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Book review of “The Death of Expertise: the campaign against established knowledge and why it matters”

Preface.  Those who attack experts are exactly the people who will not read this book review (well, mainly some Kindle notes) of Nichols “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters”. They scare me, they … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Politics, Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Far Out #4: Power out of thin air, power out of freezing air, & Fruit power

Preface. To get power out of thin air after oil, the 90% of people who have had to go back to farming are going to be making protein nanowires from microbes in the chicken coop in their spare time. Scaling … Continue reading

Posted in Far Out | Tagged | 5 Comments