Category Archives: 1) Decline

Decline will be death by a thousand cuts as too many problems occur and overwhelm societies ability to fix them (i.e. Tainter’s “complexity”). Already our infrastructure (oil and gas pipelines, electric grid, roads, bridges, etc) has a Report Card of D from the American Society of Civil Engineers. All 18 components of essential infrastructure, from the electric grid to the financial system are vulnerable to cyber-attack, The end of growth means bankruptcy for cities, pensions, families, and businesses, and no credit for energy companies to borrow for new projects to obtain oil, coal, and natural gas, the real drivers of the economy (just try putting dollar bills in your gas tank)

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, Limits To Growth, Peak Resources, Soil, Wood | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Venezuela collapse: looting, hunger, blackouts

[ Venezuela is experiencing a double whammy of drought and low oil prices, which has lead to blackouts and inability to import food.  It just keeps getting worse and worse.  Related posts: Book review of “In order to live: A … Continue reading

Posted in Central & South America, Social Disorder | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Book review of “White Trash. The 400-year untold history of class in America”

Preface.  This book makes the case that the poor arrived 500 years ago when America was first settled, and most of them never rose to the middle or upper classes because “land was the principal source of wealth, and those … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of Wealth, Financial, Politics, Poverty | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Not enough lithium to electrify transportation

Preface. Breaking news: The New York times just reported that there are only 25 years of zinc reserves left and goes on to say that lithium reserves are even smaller — just 5% of zinc reserves (Penn 2018).  The authors of … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Electrification, Peak Lithium | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The electric grid: fragile, filthy, poorly managed, polluting, inefficient, corrupt

Preface. Most forms of alternative energy depend on the electric grid (nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower). But the Grid is falling apart.  Most people who care about climate change believe electrifying everything will solve our problems. This energy section of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Blackouts, Books, Electricity, Energy | 3 Comments

Fantasyland Part 1. How America Went Haywire. A 500-Year History.

        Preface. The next 8 posts will review the book “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire.  A 500-Year History” because it’s one of the most important, and fun to read, books I’ve read in a long time.  A … Continue reading

Posted in Collapse of Civilizations, Critical Thinking, Critical Thinking and Scientific Literacy, Human Nature, Religion, Social Disorder | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Battling the Inland Sea, the history of why and how the levee system was built in California’s delta

[ When settlers first moved to farm the central valley, they found it was often flooded with water, not the “desert” people often claim California to be.  A vast swamp over 100 miles long of half a million acres of … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Agriculture, Dams, Floods, Floods | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Battling the Inland Sea, the history of why and how the levee system was built in California’s delta

Robert Rapier: Oil demand is growing, not shrinking. There is no peak oil demand in sight.

[ Yes, this article was published 10 months ago, but with all the attention to fake news today, I thought it would be worthwhile pointing out that peak demand is propaganda, not based on facts. Since the goal of fake … Continue reading

Posted in Dependence on Oil, Electric Cars, Other Experts, Peak Oil, Transportation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

David Korowicz: A study of global system collapse

[ I’ve extracted about half of Korowicz’s paper, left out the references, math, charts, and tables, so you might want to read the original document yourself.   This is a great explanation – one of the best – of the intertwined … Continue reading

Posted in 2) Collapse, Cascading Failure, Critical Thinking, David Korowicz, Interdependencies, Liebig's Law, Social Disorder, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Why world leaders are terrified of water shortages

[ The article blow shows how water crisis in Yemen and Syria led to civil war, mass migration, roadblocks by angry citizens, water riots, increased dengue fever as people hard water, and 1 million refugees fleeing to Europe.  Egypt also … Continue reading

Posted in Caused by Scarce Resources, Drought, Mass migrations, Middle East, Social Uprising, Starvation, Water | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment