Category Archives: Books

Booklist: Natural history & Science, Evolution, Critical thinking, Health, Resource allocation, Climate change, Fire

Preface. My goal since college has been to read as much as I could across as many fields as possible to obtain a Big Picture View and understand the world as it really is rather than how I’d like it … Continue reading

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Muscle Power

Preface. Before fossil fuels, the energy to do work came from muscle power and the heat from burning biomass, mainly wood.  When I visited the Deutsches museum in Munich in 2017, I saw two animal treadmills: The first picture shows … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Energy, Life Before Oil, Muscle Power, What to do | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Vaclav Smil. Making the modern world: materials and dematerialization

Preface.  I can’t believe I read this book, it is just a long litany of the  gigantic amounts of materials we exploit, with no analysis, implications, or the meaning of what impact this will have on the planet. I certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth, Peak Resources, Vaclav Smil | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks

Preface. I’m fascinated by system risks, so I’ve included this, though there’s no awareness at all of peak oil or limits to growth or that energy, not money, is the basis of civilization and foundation of every single widget made … Continue reading

Posted in Crash Coming Soon, Financial | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Jorg Friedrichs: The future is not what it used to be. climate change and energy scarcity

Preface. This book ranges across many topics and I’ve only included a few bits and pieces.  Friedrichs discusses what to do, recovery, denial, migration, historically how Japan, North Korea, and Cuba reacted to sudden energy decline and based on their … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

New Yorker review of Eric Schlosser’s “Command and Control”

Preface.  This book has been on my reading list for several years now, but I have to admit I am lazy, lazy – the 656 pages is twice the length of most books.  And it would be hard to write … Continue reading

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Book review of Vaclav Smil’s “Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects”

Preface.  In my extract of the 178 pages in the book below, Smil explains why renewables can’t possibly replace fossil fuels, and appears to be exasperated that people believe this can be done when he writes “Common expectations of energy … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Energy, Vaclav Smil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Book: John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”

Preface.  This contains excerpts from John Perlin’s “A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization”. It’s one of my favorite books about natural resources, exploring the role wood has played in the rise and fall of civilizations since they … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations, Collapsed, Deforestation, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth, Peak Resources, Soil, Wood | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Part 6 Raven Rock. Alarming quotes from leaders

Preface. This is the 6th part of my book review of: Graff, G.M. 2018. Raven Rock. The Story of the U.S. Governments Secret Plan to Save Itself–While the Rest of Us Die. Simon and Schuster. These are some of the … Continue reading

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Part 5 Raven Rock. Hidey holes for government and military officials to carry on democracy after nuclear war destroys the planet

Preface. This is the fifth part of my book review of: Graff, G.M. 2018. Raven Rock. The Story of the U.S. Governments Secret Plan to Save Itself–While the Rest of Us Die. Simon and Schuster.  There are so many doomsday … Continue reading

Posted in Nuclear, Nuclear, Politics, War | Tagged , , | 1 Comment