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Expert Opinion

General Ideas

In August, I mentioned that I had chosen the title “Political Reality” for my memo in part because of my liking for oxymorons.  I classed that title with other internally contradictory statements, such as “jumbo shrimp” and “common sense.”  Now I’m going to discuss one more: “expert opinion.” This memo was inspired by a thought […]

Thomas Malthus on Population, Passions, Property and Politics

General Ideas

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have been born in what is often still referred to as the Western World (Europe and North America) rarely appreciate the historical uniqueness of our material and related cultural well being compared not only to many still around the globe today, but relative to those who […]

Is an Economic Oil Crash Around the Corner?

General Ideas

A report by HSBC shows that contrary to industry mythology, even amidst the glut of unconventional oil and gas, the vast bulk of the world’s oil production has already peaked and is now in decline, while European government scientists show that the value of energy produced by oil has declined by half within the first […]

‘Zombie apocalypse’ would wipe out humankind in just 100 days

‘Zombie apocalypse’ would wipe out humankind in just 100 days thumbnail

Physics students explore feasibility of surviving viral infection Date: January 5, 2017 Source: University of Leicester Summary: A student study suggests that one hundred days after zombie infection spread less than 300 people would remain alive globally. After one hundred days human survivors would be outnumbered a million to one by zombies. Students worked on […]

The Year In Doom 2016: Counter-Revolution

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  Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on January 1, 2017 “History is as light as individual human life, unbearably light, light as a feather, as dust swirling into the air, as whatever will no longer exist tomorrow.”  ― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being Every new year, pundits attempt to make sense of the […]

H’s, T’s and E’s – A Peak Oil Guide

H’s, T’s and E’s – A Peak Oil Guide thumbnail

This is a post meant for people who follow resource depletion, simplified for the group think as “peak oil.” But you might enjoy knowing more about the three groups now thinking about the way this society will crumble – or transform. I’m having a problem. I need some help differentiating the types of thinking in […]

Pakistan: Depleting reserves; all eyes on imported gas to meet energy requirements

Pakistan: Depleting reserves; all eyes on imported gas to meet energy requirements thumbnail

Despite extensive drilling by oil and gas exploration and production companies that resulted in over 90 new discoveries in just three years, the much-talked about IP, TAPI and LNG projects are considered the thirst-quenching streams for the energy starved nation. Now with the concerted efforts of the present government, the decades old projects – Iran-Pakistan […]

Energy in 2016: The Oily Awards

Energy in 2016: The Oily Awards thumbnail

Best Books:  The Boom:  How Fracking Ignited America’s Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold, best history; The Price of Oil, Roberto Aguilera and Marian Radetzki, best economics. Best Branding:  “Water protector” used by Dakota Access pipeline opponents to disguise the fact that their victory would have almost no impact on water quality. […]

The Top 10 Energy Stories Of 2016

General Ideas

A lot happened in the energy sector in 2016, with two major stories leading the way. Both the surprising election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and OPEC’s November announcement to curtail production vied for the top spot on my list, as they will both likely impact the energy markets for years to come. But […]

As We Enter 2017, Keep The Big Picture In Mind

As We Enter 2017, Keep The Big Picture In Mind thumbnail

The ‘meme’ circulating the internet and among my personal friend group is that 2016 was something of an awful year. Between a poisonous US election cycle, horrifying acts of senseless violence caused by refugees driving trucks in Europe, nightclub and other shootings, and high profile celebrity deaths it all conspired to create a sense of […]

The next ten years: how desperate can we become?

The next ten years: how desperate can we become? thumbnail

  With the year’s end, it is tradition to make predictions for the next year. In this case, I looked for something that would take a longer timespan as a target and I found something published in 2015. It can be used to learn how bad some predictions can be and how desperate we are […]

John Michael Greer: A Leap in the Dark

General Ideas

A few days from now, 2016 will have passed into the history books. I know a fair number of people who won’t mourn its departure, but it’s pretty much a given that the New Year celebrations here in the United States, at least, will demonstrate a marked shortage of enthusiasm for the arrival of 2017. […]

Was 2016 the Best Year Ever?

General Ideas

According to popular wisdom, 2016 was a terrible year. Horrific terror attacks struck many countries. The Syrian crisis claimed tens of thousands of lives. Turkey withstood suicide bombings and a failed coup. More than 70 countries experienced a decline in freedom. Political shocks included Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the United States’ presidential election […]

Reveries of Collapse

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Lady Gaga’s meat suit Energy deflation and dollar preference are large forces beyond the control of politicians, generals or central bankers. They are driving countries and events toward involuntary conservation. America’s new president is the product of economic failure; the inability of the economists to make correct analysis, a long grinding recession disguised as recovery; […]

The Haft of his Axe

The Haft of his Axe thumbnail

“Why are we behaving as if we actually deserve to go extinct?” In Nanjing they have banned gas and diesel powered motorbikes, scooters, and trike-cabs or trike-trucks and replaced them with electrics. While most vehicles are retrofits, new electric bikes and trikes are sold in showrooms and all around the city repair shops, battery stores, […]

A Season Of Consequences, By John Michael Greer

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One of the many advantages of being a Druid is that you get to open your holiday presents four days early. The winter solstice—Alban Arthuan, to use one term for it in the old-fashioned Druid Revival traditions I practice—is one of the four main holy days of the Druid year. Though the actual moment of […]

The Oil And Gas Situation – 2016 Year In Review

The Oil And Gas Situation – 2016 Year In Review thumbnail

In the history of the oil and natural gas industry in the United States, 2016 will be remembered as one of the most eventful in terms of major market developments, asset transactions and developments in public policy. As we approach year’s end, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of […]

Peak Oil : The real inconvenient truth

General Ideas

The media talks about ” climate change ” all the time but rarely talk about ” Peak oil ” . When most people think of oil they of oil shooting out of an oil well . This is the cheapest form of oil to produce. This type of oil is mostly found in the middle […]

The case for optimism

The case for optimism thumbnail

A quick glance at the headlines over the past year would be enough to give anyone a grim outlook on the future of our world – but there are good reasons to be hopeful. David Rothkopf makes the case for why the fate of future generations is far from doomed The average person, looking around […]

Why the Peak Oil Movement Failed

Why the Peak Oil Movement Failed thumbnail

As I glance back across the trajectory of this blog over the last ten and a half years, one change stands out. When I began blogging in May of 2006, peak oil—the imminent peaking of global production of conventional petroleum, to unpack that gnomic phrase a little—was the central theme of a large, vocal, and […]

Richard Heinberg : Think Resilience

General Ideas

This is the first of a series of 22 short videos that explore the interrelated crises of the twenty-first century, and what we as citizens, students, and community leaders can do to respond to them. Think Resilience: Preparing Communities for the Rest of the 21st Century, a 22-chapter, 4-hour video course delivered by Richard Heinberg that […]

A Precarious State of Affairs

A Precarious State of Affairs thumbnail

When asked about the state of the world today a single descriptor appears in my mind as distinct and maddening as a warning klaxon on a sinking ship: a precarious state of affairs. There are many who see the varied symptoms of the problems that face not only the United States, but civilization across the […]

From Oil Age to Soil Age

General Ideas

The Design Museum in London opens at its new home this week with, as its centrepiece, an exhibition called Fear and Love curated by Justin McGuirk. I contributed the following text to the book. Above: Debra Solomon examines nature’s internet at Schumacher College in England) Why we need a new story In 1971 a geologist […]

The Fifth Side of the Triangle

General Ideas

One of the things I’ve had occasion to notice, over the course of the decade or so I’ve put into writing these online essays, is the extent to which repeating patterns in contemporary life go unnoticed by the people who are experiencing them. I’m not talking here about the great cycles of history, which take […]

Roadmap to Currency Collapse

Roadmap to Currency Collapse thumbnail

One of the main questions those of us who have been observing collapse since the 2008 Financial Crisis have always tried to answer is just how a banking collapse would play itself out?  Lately, there have been ever more clues on the shape it will take as it moves around the globe. The first indication […]

Kunstler: A History of the Future

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For the townspeople of Union Grove, New York, the future is not what they expected it would be. In this arresting work of speculative fiction, social critic James Howard Kunstler takes an imaginative leap into the future, a few decades hence, and shows what life may be like following the long emergency, after the terminal decline […]

2016 Energy Books: What’s Good, What’s Not

General Ideas

This is the third year I’ve done a post on energy books, and this year I’m focusing on books that have been published since last year’s post. The most expensive part of reading a book is not the $29.95 you pay at the register but the opportunity cost of your time. So, in order to […]

Tumbling Down the Net Hubbert Cliff

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  Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner I gave a mini presentation at a Griffith University “sustainable economy” seminar on 29 November 2016 As the themes were slanted towards “business opportunities”, I chose this title for my talk: “Tiny House Communities: grassroots solutions for those with sufficient initiative to exit […]

Transition in Ireland

Transition in Ireland thumbnail

Ireland is one of the most advanced countries in energy transition, getting over a quarter of its electricity from renewables. It also has one of the most ambitious targets—to obtain 40% of its electricity generation from renewables by 2020—and the resources to be more than 100% powered by renewables, given time and technological development. On […]

Andrew Harvey and Carolyn Baker on Return to Joy

Andrew Harvey and Carolyn Baker on Return to Joy thumbnail

Return to Joy is a compelling and potent invitation to the reader to consider that joy is the ultimate nature of reality and that its absence lies at the root of the current, unprecedented global crisis. In this book, Andrew and Carolyn mine the mystical wisdom of the ages that places joy at the core […]

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