Tag Archives: wood

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 , , , , | 1 Comment

From wood to fossil fueled civilizations — the greatest tragedy mankind will ever know

[ These are my notes from this book about how we went from an organic sustainable economy to a temporary fossil-fueled one.  It’s one of the few books I’ve found that explains what life was like before fossil fuels in … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Experts, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Vaclav Smil on wood

[ I’ve extracted bits about wood from Smil’s book about materials below, read the book for the larger context.  Enormous amounts of wood were used in former civilizations with much smaller populations than today, so it’s clear we can’t go … Continue reading

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Steam powered farm tractors

[ Steam engines weren’t very efficient, 10 to 20% at best, which is why they went away beginning around 1920 when oil-powered engines came along.  At the very best steam engines for transportation reached 10 to 20% efficiency. They were … Continue reading

Posted in Biomass-powered Steam Engines | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

How burning biomass made us human

[ This is a book review of Wrangham’s “Catching Fire: How cooking made us human”. Fire enabled us to have larger brains from the increased calories in cooked food, held carnivores at bay, killed bacteria, and gave us many other … Continue reading

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Wood, the fuel of preindustrial societies, is half of EU renewable energy

There are 3 articles below: The Economist. April 6, 2013. Wood: the fuel of the future. Environmental lunacy in Europe. ZME Science. August 2015. The UK plans to build the world’s largest wood-burning power plant Pearce, F. August 18, 2015. … Continue reading

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Generating electricity with biomass at utility-scale in California limited to direct combustion in small 50 MW plants

CEC. 2014. Estimated cost of new renewable and fossil generation in California. California Energy Commission. CEC-200-2014-003-SD. 254 pages. CHAPTER 8: Biomass Technology Biomass technologies are plants that use biological resources, such as forestry waste or farming by-products, to produce electricity … Continue reading

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When deforestation begins after peak fossils, how long will it last?

Since we’re going back to the Wood as our main energy and infrastructure source after fossil fuels deplete, I thought it would be interesting to try to get an idea of how wood stacks up against other energy resources (below).   … Continue reading

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Deforestation

2016-8-16. Smoke Waves’ Will Affect Millions in Coming Decades Wildfires threaten more than land and homes. The smoke they produce contains fine particles (PM2.5) that can poison the air for hundreds of miles. Air pollution from the 2016 Fort McMurray … Continue reading

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