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Charlie Hall on ERoEI

General Ideas

Charlie Hall on ERoEI


Are Oil Prices Really Driven By Supply And Demand?

Are Oil Prices Really Driven By Supply And Demand? thumbnail

For most people the reflexive answer to the title question is yes. Consider, however, that over various time spans since 1980, the price of oil has dropped 75, 76, 78, and 75 percent, and risen 320, 265, 370, 196, and 254 percent (The Socionomic Theory of Finance, Robert Prechter, page 458). Prices for most goods […]


The Magic Lantern Show

General Ideas

The philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, which we’ve been discussing for the last three weeks, was enormously influential in European intellectual circles from the last quarter of the nineteenth century straight through to the Second World War.  That doesn’t mean that it influenced philosophers; by and large, in fact, the philosophers ignored Schopenhauer completely. His impact […]


The End Of A 100 Year Global Debt Super Cycle Is Way Overdue

The End Of A 100 Year Global Debt Super Cycle Is Way Overdue thumbnail

For more than 100 years global debt levels have been rising, and now we are potentially facing the greatest debt crisis in all of human history.  Never before have we seen such a level of debt saturation all over the planet, and pretty much everyone understands that this is going to end very, very badly […]


Catastrophism is popular, but not necessarily right.

General Ideas

  “The Hill’s Group” has been arguing for the rapid demise of the world’s oil industry on the basis of a calculation of the entropy of the oil extraction process. While it is true that the oil industry is in trouble, the calculations by the Hill’s group are, at best, irrelevant and probably simply plain […]


Famine is back

General Ideas

For the first time in six years, there is famine in the world: a real, United Nations-declared famine, with more than 30 percent of the affected population suffering acute malnutrition and more than a thousand people dying of hunger each day. And there are three more countries where famine may be declared any day now. […]


‘Doomsday vault’: Emergency Arctic facility receives 50k seed deposits

‘Doomsday vault’: Emergency Arctic facility receives 50k seed deposits thumbnail

Hidden away in a ‘seedy’ part of the Arctic, an international transaction of huge importance occurred on Wednesday. No money was moved, instead there was a massive haul of seeds for storage in a vault designed to protect them in case of global catastrophe. The recent deposit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault consisted of […]


A Muddle of Mind and Matter

General Ideas

The philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, which we’ve been discussing for the last two weeks, has a feature that reliably irritates most people when they encounter it for the first time: it doesn’t divide up the world the way people in modern western societies habitually do. To say, as Schopenhauer does, that the world we experience […]


Oops! The economy is like a self-driving car

Oops! The economy is like a self-driving car thumbnail

Back in 1776, Adam Smith talked about the “invisible hand” of the economy. Investopedia explains how the invisible hand works as, “In a free market economy, self-interested individuals operate through a system of mutual interdependence to promote the general benefit of society at large.” We talk and act today as if governments and economic policy […]


Civilization and Collapse

General Ideas

The transformation of risk & the predicament of risk management, by David Korowicz, 19 janvier 2017 – Institut Momentum We have entered a period where the risks we face as a species are becoming potentially far more extreme in their impacts, more probable in their likelihood, and potentially irreversible in their duration. These risks are […]


Thoughts on living with uncertainty

General Ideas

Switch on the TV news, follow Twitter or read a paper and it can feel like we are living in an era of high, perhaps unprecedented, uncertainty. We certainly seem, over time, to have become more aware of uncertainty. Since the 1940s references in English language books to uncertainty, volatility, complexity and ambiguity have soared. […]


Failing States, Collapsing Systems: Biophysical Triggers of Political Violence

Failing States, Collapsing Systems: Biophysical Triggers of Political Violence thumbnail

While trying to get to the bottom of the underlying reasons for geopolitical events has always been enough of a challenge, an unfortunate side-effect of the explosion of information that the Internet has provided us with is the even further erosion of the signal-to-noise ratio. The mainstream media can pretty much be ignored altogether unless […]


The World as Representation

General Ideas

It can be hard to remember these days that not much more than half a century ago, philosophy was something you read about in general-interest magazines and the better grade of newspapers. Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was an international celebrity; the posthumous publication of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Le Phenomenon Humaine (the English translation, predictably, […]


Love, Intelligence and Art — Musings on the Natural World

Love, Intelligence and Art — Musings on the Natural World thumbnail

Derrick Jensen reflects on the bird and frog songs he loves, and the richness of longtime relationships with natural places where one lives. By contrast, and especially in cities, our sensory input is largely mediated by machines (computers, television, radio, cars, etc.) Being surrounded only by human input, it can be very easy to forget […]


Viral Conspiracies

Viral Conspiracies thumbnail

“Now that President Trump has brought fake news out into the open, is it safe to call bullshit on the 9/11 story?” When we watch the near-hysteria going on in the United States as the country tries to come to grips with the consequences of its recent choice of government we notice how completely out […]


John Michael Greer: Perched on the Wheel of Time

General Ideas

There’s a curious predictability in the comments I field in response to posts here that talk about the likely shape of the future. The conventional wisdom of our era insists that modern industrial society can’t possibly undergo the same life cycle of rise and fall as every other civilization in history; no, no, there’s got […]


Are You Ready For An Inflationary Depression?

General Ideas

We are heading into a new depression. It is not coming. It is already here but we are only in the beginning so it may not be easy for many people to see just yet. Once it is easy to see it will be too late for any meaningful actions to mitigate the effects. Just […]


Our world is far better off than we think

General Ideas

What a difficult year you were 2016. With your terrorist attacks, the British going mad with Brexit and the Americans electing a Twitter troll as its commander-in-chief. In Syria and other war zones, people were drowning all year in blood. On top of all of that, many of our most beloved artists and performers left […]


Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich

Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich thumbnail

Steve Huffman, the thirty-three-year-old co-founder and C.E.O. of Reddit, which is valued at six hundred million dollars, was nearsighted until November, 2015, when he arranged to have laser eye surgery. He underwent the procedure not for the sake of convenience or appearance but, rather, for a reason he doesn’t usually talk much about: he hopes […]


Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening

General Ideas

A frightening near-death experience led Patt Lind-Kyle, author of Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain, to wonder what happens to the mind during the dying process. Her explorations led to writing a new book Embracing the End of Life: A Journey into Dying and Awakening. She invites readers to prepare now — for living with […]


How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 11

How I Survived Collapse: Chapter 11 thumbnail

The dinner with Kirsten had really thrown Kenny for a loop.  He still couldn’t quite believe she wasn’t playing a practical joke on him, but when she offered him to come back to her dorm room and kissed him goodnight, he had to start thinking it was for real.  He didn’t take her up on […]


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

The Year In Doom 2016: Counter-Revolution thumbnail

  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 […]


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