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)

Why self-driving cars may not be in your future

Preface. Below are excerpts from several articles about why a completely automated vehicle is unlikely.  Heaven forbid they are invented. Researchers have found that people will drive 76% more miles, stop using bicycles and mass transit, waste a considerable amount … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Foreign Policy: The limits of clean energy

Preface. This article appeared in the magazine Foreign Policy. Some of the points made are: Renewables to power the world would require 34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Energy Resources, Consumption | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Oil Shocks. Airplanes are energy gluttons. Shut down the airports. Refine crude for ships, trains, and trucks.

Preface. As oil declines and the energy crisis worsens, airplanes ought to be the first to go since they are 600 times less energy efficient than large cargo ships (30,000 / 50), 50 to 120 times less efficient than trains, … Continue reading

Posted in Airplanes, Transportation | 4 Comments

Venezuela collapse: looting, hunger, blackouts

Preface. Venezuela is experiencing a double whammy of drought and low oil prices, which has lead to blackouts and inability to import food, ultimately due to their oil production peaking in 1997.  The same fate awaits the U.S. someday when … Continue reading

Posted in Central & South America, Social Disorder | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Peak Sand

Preface.  Sand Primer: Without sand, there would be no concrete, ceramics, computer chips, glass, plastics, abrasives, paint and so on We can’t use desert sand because it’s too round, polished by the wind, and doesn’t stick together. You need rough … Continue reading

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Himalayan glaciers that supply water to a billion people are melting fast

Preface. The Himalayan glaciers that supply water to a billion people are melting fast, already 30% has been lost since 1975. Adding to the crisis are the 400 dams under construction or planned for Himalayan rivers in India, Pakistan, Nepal, … Continue reading

Posted in Caused by Scarce Resources, Climate Change, Climate Change, Dams, Water, Water, Water | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Himalayan glaciers that supply water to a billion people are melting fast

Tesla pickup truck claims defy the laws of physics by John Engle

In 2017 scientists questioned whether the Tesla Semi could meet Musk’s claims (see post “Given the laws of physics, can the Tesla Semi really go 500 miles, and what will the price be?”). I suspect this is why Tesla has … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Trucks, Electric trucks impossible, Electrification | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Oil Choke Points vulnerable to war, chaos, terrorism, piracy

Preface. The U.S., thanks to fracking, which is likely to peak by 2025, produces half of the 20 million barrels of oil it uses per day. The other half of our oil is imported, with 45% of imports (4.5 million … Continue reading

Posted in Chokepoints, Infrastructure Attacks, Oil & Gas, Oil Shocks, Threats to oil supply | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS)

Preface. This is the only commercial way to store energy now (CAES hardly counts with just one plant and salt domes to put more in existing in only 5 states). Though of course hydropower is only in a few states … Continue reading

Posted in Dams, Energy Production, Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

The 10 countries with the most endangered species in the world

I don’t know whether to go to these countries to see these beautiful creatures before they’re extinct, or to spend my money on countries like Costa Rica and Tanzania that have set aside a quarter or more of their land … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity Loss, Deforestation | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments