Monthly Archives: January 2021

How are microchips made?

Preface. Computer chip fabrication plants need to run continuously for weeks to accomplish the thousands of steps needed to make microchips. A half-hour power outage at Samsung’s Pyeongtaek chip plant caused losses of over $43 million dollars (Reuters 2019). Chip … Continue reading

Posted in Chemicals, Microchips and computers | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Motherboards: too complicated to make after oil

Preface. The wood-based world of the future simply won’t have the energy and minerals required not just to make electronic devices, but the precision machine tools to make them.  As diesel fuel grows scarce and the economy fails, supply chains … Continue reading

Posted in Microchips and computers | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Many steps using fossil fuels to make cans & potato chips

Preface.  I am gobsmacked by how much energy goes into making beverage cans and potato chips, look at all the steps, each one using energy!  Why haven’t we run of oil yet? Especially when you look at everything else out … Continue reading

Posted in EROEI Energy Returned on Energy Invested, Manufacturing & Industrial Heat | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Renewables: not enough minerals, energy, time or clean and green

Preface. Electricity generating contraptions like wind and solar can’t replace the 50% of oil used in global manufacturing, because they can’t generate the high heat needed, or run battery or catenary electric trucks as I explained in “When Trucks Top … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Battery - Utility Scale, Elements: Critical, Elements: Platinum Group, Elements: Rare Earth, Peak Resources, Recycle, Solar, Wind | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ugo Bardi’s The Universal Mining Machine

Preface. Below I’ve excerpted some of Ugo Bardi’s “The Universal Mining Machine” (24 January 2008 europe.theoildrum), but I’ve left a great deal out of this excellent article, I encourage you to read all of it if you have time. The … Continue reading

Posted in Elements: Critical, Mining, Ugo Bardi | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Minerals essential for wind, solar, and high-tech, are anything but clean and green

This is a book review of Pitron’s “The rare metals war”.  To produce the metals and minerals to make a transition to wind, solar, nuclear and so on would be incredibly destructive and filthy. A fifth of China’s arable land … Continue reading

Posted in Battery - Utility Scale, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Mining, Peak Resources, Photovoltaic Solar, Recycle, Wind | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Book list: What to do about peak everything and limits to growth

If you search on prepping you’ll get 62 million results, but that hasn’t been my focus. I’m madly in love with my techno-optimist husband, we’re both senior citizens, and so we’re not going anywhere or preparing.   Where best to be … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Book List, Where to Be or Not to Be | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

328 Million Americans use 3.2 million pounds of minerals, metals, and fuels in their lifetime

Preface. Even if you go off the grid, society is using up minerals at an exponential rate to maintain the non-negotiable American lifestyle, which in 2006, required 3.7 million pounds of minerals, metals, and fuels in each person’s lifetime, or … Continue reading

Posted in Elements: Critical, Mining, Recycle | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Batteries are made of rare, declining, critical, and imported elements

Preface.  Since oil and other fossils are finite and emit carbon, the plan is to electrify society with batteries.  But doh!  Minerals used in batteries are finite too.  And dependent on fossil-fueled transportation and manufacturing from mining trucks, to smelter, … Continue reading

Posted in Batteries, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Mining | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Livestock threatened by toxic invasive species on rangeland

Preface.  Will cattle, sheep,goats, and horses have to be raised on feed lots in the future to prevent range land poisoning from invasive plants? Each year poisonous plants adversely affect 3-5% of the cattle, sheep, and horses that graze western … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Biodiversity Loss, BioInvasion, Peak Food | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments