Category Archives: Books

Book review of Wrigley’s “Energy and the English Industrial revolution”

Preface. I’ve made a strong case in my book “When trucks stop running” and this energyskeptic website that we will eventually return to wood and a 14th century lifestyle after fossil fuels are depleted. So if you’re curious about what … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Energy, Life Before Oil, Limits To Growth | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Book review of “The Soul of an Octopus”

Preface.  The octopus is an amazing creature, more than can be conveyed in the bits and pieces I’ve selected below.  The only downside to reading it is that you may not want to eat octopus anymore! 2018: A team of … Continue reading

Posted in Natural History | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth by Keith Veronese

Preface.  Capitalism believes there’s a solution for everything due to Man’s Inventive Brain, but when it comes to getting metals out of the earth, there are some very serious limitations.  In parts per billion, there’s only 4 of platinum, 20 … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Rare Minerals | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Book review of Bryce’s “Power hungry: the myths of green energy and the real fuels of the future”

Preface.  This is a book review of: Robert Bryce. 2009. Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future. This is a brilliant book, very funny at times, a great way to sharpen your critical … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Other Experts | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Book review of Heinberg’s “Afterburn: society beyond fossil fuels”

Preface. This book has 15 essays Heinberg wrote from 2011 to 2014, many of them available for free online.  These are some of my Kindle notes of parts that interested me, so to you it will be disjointed and perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in By People, Energy, Peak Oil, Richard Heinberg | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Why and how Jellyfish are taking over the world

Preface.  The more climate change kicks in, the more we over-fish, pollute, acidify and warm the ocean, create vast dead zones, and trawl ocean bottoms, the better the jellyfish do. It is quite possible that the ocean ecosystem will shift … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Extinction, Fisheries, Jellyfish, Peak Food | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Book review of Dirt: the erosion of civilization

Preface. On average civilizations collapsed after 800 to 2,000 years because they’d destroyed their topsoil. Today, industrial agriculture is doing this far faster – in most of the United States half of the original topsoil is gone from the richest … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Peak Food, Soil | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Book review of Underbug: an obsessive tale of termites and technology

Preface.  I read this book mainly to find out where “grassoline” stood. Scientists thought 10 years ago that we could recreate the termite biota system of digesting biomass to create biofuels.  But this appears to be far in the future … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Book List | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

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