Author Archives: energyskeptic

Groundwater rise. Yet another climate change threat.

Preface. In coastal areas flooding is likely to be caused from groundwater rise because as sea levels rise, they won’t only move inland, flooding low-lying land near the shore; but also push water up from the saltwater water table, on … Continue reading

Posted in Floods, Groundwater, Hazardous Waste, Sea Level Rise, Water | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Nafeez Ahmed: Venezuela’s collapse is a window into how the Oil Age will unravel

Preface. Ahmed is one of the best writers on the energy crisis and other biophysical calamities. He’s written about why many states are failing now in part due to peak oil, but also drought and other biophysical factors in his … Continue reading

Posted in Central & South America, Oil (Tar) Sands, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Climate change effects on hydropower in California

Preface. The main impact of climate change will be on hydropower in California, which is the largest source of renewable electric power. Besides natural gas, it is the only dispatchable form of power to balance unreliable, intermittent wind and solar … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Hydropower | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Hydropower can’t help with the energy crisis

Preface. When fossil fuels are gone, there aren’t many ways to balance the unreliable, intermittent, and often absent for weeks at a time power from wind and solar.  Biofuels and burning biomass is one solution, it’s dispatchable and can kick … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Hydropower | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

High-Tech can’t last: there are limited essential elements

There are 17 rare earth elements in the periodic table. About nine of those elements go into every iPhone sold… and if China were suddenly to disappear from a map tomorrow, Apple would lose about 90% of those elements.  Source: … Continue reading

Posted in ! PEAK EVERYTHING, Alternative Energy, Cascading Failure, Important Minerals, Microchip Fabrication stops, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Black starting the grid after a power outage

Black starts Large blackouts can be quite devastating and it isn’t easy to restart the electric grid again. This is typically done by designated black start units of natural gas, coal, hydro, or nuclear power plants that can restart themselves … Continue reading

Posted in Grid instability | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Rare Earth – why we may be the only intelligent species in the universe

Preface. I think that Ward & Brownlee’s 2000 book “Rare Earth: why complex life is uncommon in the universe” is one of the most profound and important books I’ve ever read.  What if we are the only intelligent species in … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Human Nature, Life Before Oil | Tagged | 11 Comments

Threats to America’s oil pipeline grid

Preface. At some point of energy decline there will be Americans who tap into pipelines to get scarce oil for themselves and to sell it on black markets. Just look at the massive amount of oil being stolen in Nigeria … Continue reading

Posted in Fuel Distribution, Oil & Gas, Terrorism | Tagged | 1 Comment

Vanishing open spaces: population growth and sprawl in America

Before the fossil fuel age began, about 80 to 90% of people farmed to make a living. Since the end of the oil age will send us back to the past, farmland and farmers will once again comprise the greatest … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Overpopulation, Soil | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Book review of Mikhail’s “The beekeeper: rescuing the stolen women of Iraq”

Preface. This is a gruesome post you may want to skip. My main interest in this book was what will happen to the hundreds of millions forced to flee in the future because of the crash of civilization as oil … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations, Collapsing, Mass migrations, Middle East, Refugee Camps, Social Disorder, Terrorism | Tagged | 8 Comments