Category Archives: 3) Fast Crash

The case for a fast, rather than a slow one. Most societies crashed in 20 years or less. There has never been or will be again a crash like ours, where the world of 7 billion people became utterly dependent on a non-renewable source of energy — fossil fuels.

Limits to Growth? 2016 United Nations report provides best evidence yet

This peer-reviewed United Nations report (excerpts below) ought to scare anyone who understands exponential growth. Here are a few examples to think about while reading the report: If 2 grams of gold grew at a 5% compound rate for 2,000 … Continue reading

Posted in ! Peak Everything, Distribution of Wealth, Exponential Growth, Limits To Growth, Organizations, Other Experts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Peak Fossil Fuels: overview of peak oil, coal, and natural gas

[ Below are overviews of peak oil, coal, and natural gas, each followed by additional reading material from my book “When trucks stop running”. My book also explains why we are unlikely to be able to electrify transportation, as well … Continue reading

Posted in Coal, How Much Left, Natural Gas, Peak Coal, Peak Natural Gas, Peak Oil | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Missing monsoon crashes Indus Valley Civilization

19 March 2014 Withering monsoon may have doomed past Asian society. NewScientist. The Indian summer monsoon abruptly weakened 4200 years ago. The ensuing drought may have led to the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished around the Indus … Continue reading

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Utility scale energy storage batteries: only enough material exists on earth for Sodium sulfur (NaS)

[ Natural gas is finite, but aside from hydropower, gas is the main way wind and solar are balanced now. Therefore, a tremendous amount of energy storage will be needed in the future as natural gas declines, hydropower (remains stagnant … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy Resources, Batteries, Energy Storage | 2 Comments

Benefits of promoting soil health in agriculture U.S. House hearing 2014

                    [ At last, 10 years after I first published “Peak soil: Why biofuels destroy ecosystems and civilizations“, Congress had a hearing that educated house members on why preserving topsoil is … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Biomass, Food, Infrastructure, Pesticides, Soil, Soil, Water | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plants are sucking streams dry thanks to more CO2

Slezak, M. October 24, 2015. Carbon emissions make Earth greener but are also drying it out. NewScientist. Source: Ukkola, A. M., et al. October 19, 2015 Reduced streamflow in water-stressed climates consistent with CO2 effects on vegetation. Nature Climate Change 6, … Continue reading

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Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change

NRC. 2013. Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating surprises. National Research Council, National Academies of Sciences press. [ Excerpts from this 223-page document, with a table of possible abrupt changes. My interest in climate change for many years was whether … Continue reading

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How climate change will affect energy production and transportation

[ Climate change and extreme weather will harm oil and gas exploration and production, fuel transport, thermoelectric power generation (coal, natural gas, nuclear, geothermal, solar concentrated power), hydropower, biofuels, wind, solar PV, the electric grid, and increase energy demand from … Continue reading

Posted in Blackouts, Cascading Failure, Climate Change, Electric Grid, Electric Grid, Energy Production, Hydropower, Ships and Barges, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste will last a lot longer than climate change

[ Anyone who survives peak fossil fuels and after that, rising sea levels and extreme weather from climate change, will still be faced with nuclear waste as both deadly pollutant and potential weapon.  The worst last an awfully long time. … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Nuclear Waste | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Solar PV cells using rare elements unlikely to scale up enough to replace fossil fuels

[ Sunshine may be free, but the materials to make solar contraptions aren’t.   Since sunshine arrives in a diluted form (2500 kWh/m2), vast expanses of solar photovoltaic panels will be needed to produce the world’s 15 Terawatts of power that … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy Resources, Limits To Growth, Photovoltaic Solar, Rare Minerals | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Solar PV cells using rare elements unlikely to scale up enough to replace fossil fuels