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.

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

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Humans driving species to extinction 1,000 times the natural rate

[ According to a paper published in Science (Pimm, S.L., et al, 30 May 2014. The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection). The higher estimate in this study than previous estimates is due to a … Continue reading

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Emerging threats of resource wars. U.S. House hearing

Goh Chun Teck, Lim Xian You, Sum Qing Wei, Tong Huu Khiem. 2011. Resource Wars. Players compete with each other for territories that generate resources such as coal, water, gold and gas. A Player can sell resources for money, which … Continue reading

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A Nuclear spent fuel fire at Peach Bottom in Pennsylvania could force 18 million people to evacuate

[If electric power were out 12 to 31 days (depending on how hot the stored fuel was), the fuel from the reactor core cooling down in a nearby nuclear spent fuel pool could catch on fire and cause millions of … Continue reading

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The EMP Commission estimates a nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill up to 9 of 10 Americans through starvation, disease, and societal collapse

[ Several times Dr. Pry recommends  “States should harden their electric grids against nuclear EMP attack because there is a clear and present danger, because protecting against nuclear EMP will mitigate all lesser threats, and because both the federal government … Continue reading

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How the Catholic Church and politics helped cause overpopulation and overshoot

[ All of what follows is from the article below.  Mumford makes the case that: “Had the recommendations of NSSM 200 been implemented in 1975, the world would be very different today. The prospects would have improved for every nation … Continue reading

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The Hidden Costs of Oil. U.S. Senate hearing 2006.

[ This post has excerpts from the 2006 U.S. Senate hearing “The Hidden Cost of Oil”.  It is a timely reminder, now that gasoline prices are low and peak oil off the radar, that we are nowhere near the American … Continue reading

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Wanted: Math geniuses and power engineers to make a renewable grid possible

Figure 1. OPF solution of original seven-bus system with generator at bus 4 offering high [The U.S. electric grid produces over two-thirds of its power with fossil fuels, and another 20% from nuclear power.   Since fossil fuels and uranium are … Continue reading

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Oil shocks and the potential for crisis U.S. House 2007

[ U.S. Congressional hearings have boasted of  America’s energy independence for several years.  For those of you with a longer view, and doubts about the shale “fracked” oil revolution, here’s a house hearing about oil dependence.  Much of the testimony … Continue reading

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Human conflict arising from natural resources

Bruch, C., et al. July 20, 2012.  Human Conflict: Targeting Natural Resources.  Science 337:291-292  The special issue on Human Conflict (18 May, p. 818) largely ignores a central dimension of violent conflict: the complex role of natural resources in the … Continue reading

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