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.

Wind turbines hit limits to growth before 50% wind power penetration

Material requirements of 50% wind power in the USA hit limits to growth Wind turbines can’t be made forever because natural gas, coal, oil, uranium (thorium), neodymium, and other energy resources and minerals needed for wind turbines are finite, and … Continue reading

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Wind’s dirty secret: it mostly blows in the winter

  Figure 1. Summer wind across the USA is nearly all sluggish Class 3 (light blue), Class 2 (orange) or class 1 (blank) (NREL). Someday wind and solar will need to contribute over 50% of power due to declining fossil … Continue reading

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Michael Webber on Energy + Water + Food interdependency

Webber, Michael E. February 2015. Our future rides on our ability to integrate Energy + Water + Food. Scientific American. Michael E. Webber is deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. His Yale University … Continue reading

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Electric grid large power transformers take up to 2 years to build

[Large power transformers are essential critical infrastructure to the electric grid, and are huge, weighing up to 820,000 pounds.  If large power transformers are destroyed by a geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attack, sabotage, severe weather, floods, or simply … Continue reading

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Homeland Security and Dept of Energy: Dams and Energy Sectors Interdependency Study

[Below are excerpts from this 45 page document. Dams not only provide power but also water for agriculture, drinking water, cooling water for thermal power plants, ecosystem health, fisheries, and so on.  All dams have a finite lifespan of 50 … Continue reading

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Over 21 essential resources have peaked: Fish, milk, eggs, wheat, corn, rice, soy

Nature summary of this article: “The rates at which humans consume multiple resources such as food and wood peaked at roughly the same time, around 2006. This means that resources could be simultaneously depleted, so achieving sustainability might be more … Continue reading

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Electricity & Diesel / Gasoline interdependency

Freight trucks, trains, ships, airplanes all stop when the electricity is out because the pumps depend on it.  Related: Why you should love trucks and When Trucks Stop Lively, M. February 14, 2014. Pricing Gasoline When the Pumps Are Running … Continue reading

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Utility Scale Energy Storage Batteries limited by both materials and energy

Stanford study quantifies energetic costs of grid-scale energy storage over time; current batteries the worst performers; the need to improve cycle life by 3-10x 10 March 2013. A plot of ESOI for 7 potential grid-scale energy storage technologies. Credit: … Continue reading

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Solar Photovoltaics (PV) limited by raw materials

This paper (excerpts below) shows that there are limits to growth — there simply aren’t enough minerals in the world that can be produced physically and/or at a reasonable cost for the most popular kinds of PV being made now. … Continue reading

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Limits to Growth

Below are links or excerpts of articles about limits to growth Scientists vindicate ‘Limits to Growth’ – urge investment in ‘circular economy’ Early warning of civilizational collapse by early to mid 21st century startlingly prescient. Limits to Growth was right. … Continue reading

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