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Tom Wayburn and Gail Tverberg discuss ERoEI

General Ideas

  ·                     Gail Tverberg says: June 11, 2013 at 8:03 am The minimum ERoEI has to be a whole lot higher than 1.0. I am not sure what the right number is. I suspect it is something close to 9.0; certainly at least 5.0. The calculation leaves out way too much. In particular, it does not […]

The Cosmic Doctrine: The Law of Impactation

General Ideas

This week we continue a monthly discussion of The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune, which I consider the most important work of 20th century occult philosophy. Climb in and fasten your seat belts; it’s turning out to be as wild a ride as I expected. If you’re just joining us now, please go back and […]

Telling others about peak oil and limits to growth

General Ideas

Preface. Obviously the planet is finite. We’re using many times more oil than we’re discovering, and therefore at some point global oil production will peak and decline.  Yet even in 2019 this reality is denied by most, so much so that low prices after the last financial crash caused by high oil prices, has led […]

Orlov: “Watch This!”

Orlov: “Watch This!” thumbnail

There are times in my career as a collapse observer and systematizer when my running commentary can quite reasonably be pared down to just two words: “Watch this!” The current severe stage of the financial and economic collapse sequence that was initiated in 2008, which is being artificially masked (no pun intended) by the Covid “pandemic,” and […]

The Care of the Mind

General Ideas

Before we begin, a preliminary note is in order.  Yes, I heard about what’s happening with the US election. I write my posts in advance, and this one was finished days before the votes started being counted. We’ll discuss the election over on my Dreamwidth journal once the rubble stops bouncing and the dust settles. […]

Heinberg: A simple way to understand what’s happening … and what to do

Heinberg: A simple way to understand what’s happening … and what to do thumbnail

The world seems to be coming apart at the seams. It’s critical to understand why, so that we can avoid the worst and find the best responses so as to move toward the environmentally and socially healthy future we want. It turns out that there’s a relatively simple frame for gaining such understanding. This straightforward […]

Everything We Assume Is Permanent Is Actually Fragile

Everything We Assume Is Permanent Is Actually Fragile thumbnail

Masking the rot and fragility is not the same thing as strength or permanence. The great irony of the past 75 years of expanding consumption is the belief that all these decades of success prove the system is rock-solid and future success is thus guaranteed. The irony lies in the systemic fragility that’s built into the large-scale industrial […]

Can we predict collapses before they happen? What we learned from the pandemic

General Ideas

My 2019 book “Before the Collapse.” In it, I examined several scenarios of the future of humankind. Was I able to predict the current pandemic? Of course not in the details, but I think that I did note an important facet of the story: epidemics are never very deadly when they come alone. They become […]

Tom Whipple: Whatever Happened to Peak Oil?

General Ideas

It is now over 20 years since a pair of European geologists set forth the concept of “peak oil” in Scientific American. When the idea that the world’s oil supply might soon hit a peak was first developed, the world consumed about 63 million barrels of oil per day, and consumption was rising. Official projections […]

The Mask of Disenchantment

General Ideas

When I noticed at the beginning of the month that September had five Wednesdays, and I didn’t have anything in mind to post here for the fifth of them, I asked my readers for their suggestions, following an old custom here that I’ve recently revived. As usual, the resulting discussion was lively and quite a […]

Four Reasons Civilization Won’t Decline: It Will Collapse

General Ideas

From Jenna Orkin Four Reasons Civilization Won’t Decline: It Will Collapse 2 aides for Ilhan Omar challenger shot, 1 killed; no apparent relationship to the campaign… Thousands of Migrating Birds Drop Dead Across Southwestern U.S. Now they want to burn JK Rowling’s books Human Flesh Looks Like Beef, But the Taste Is More Elusive  […]

The Psychology of Denying Overpopulation

General Ideas

Let’s imagine we were giving an award for the worst social problem in the world today. Do you have any nominations? Did I hear someone say international conflict? Racial prejudice maybe? Environmental destruction anyone? Millions of homeless refugees? Exploitation of women? Turns out there’s one problem that connects all of those, and it’s one you […]

The End of Oil? Pandemic Adds to Fossil Fuel Glut, But COVID-19 Relief Money Flows to Oil Industry

General Ideas

As the coronavirus pandemic contributes to a glut of fossil fuels, groups like Greenpeace are calling on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to ban fossil fuel interests from his campaign and administration, if he wins, even as he recently declared at a campaign stop that he “will not ban fracking.” We discuss the politics of […]

Visualizing Permian Oil & Gas Production

General Ideas

Permian – update through May 2020 These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from all 27,683 horizontal wells in the Permian (Texas & New Mexico) that started producing from 2008/2009 onward, through May. Total Production Production from horizontal wells in the Permian fell by around 0.5 million bo/d in May to […]

We’re Dumb about Exponential Growth. That’s Proving Lethal

We’re Dumb about Exponential Growth. That’s Proving Lethal thumbnail

Gradually, and then suddenly. That’s how exponential growth can ruin your day, undo your family, evaporate your economy, destroy your climate, crush an empire and destabilize a planet. Consider the performance of COVID-19. In June a 30-year-old male attended a “COVID party” in San Antonio, Texas. At a COVID party, the host has tested positive. He or […]

Why a Thriving Civilization in Malta Collapsed 4,000 Years Ago

Why a Thriving Civilization in Malta Collapsed 4,000 Years Ago thumbnail

The mysteries of an ancient civilization that survived for more than a millennium on the island of Malta—and then collapsed within two generations—have been unravelled by archaeologists who analyzed pollen buried deep within the earth and ancient DNA from skulls and bones. It’s part of a field of work that is expanding the use of […]

Energy Basics: What is Energy?

General Ideas

In response to listener demand, we are launching a new mini-series on the Energy Basics. If you have found yourself occasionally challenged to follow some of the more technical conversations we have here, or even if you just want to brush up on the fundamentals, this mini-series is for you! We hope these episodes will […]

Why The Unraveling Will Accelerate

General Ideas

Sclerotic, hidebound institutions optimized for linear stability and permanent growth are simply not designed to adapt to non-linear change and disruption of permanent growth. Since the first news of pandemic in late January, I’ve been discussing potential accelerants to the unraveling of our fragile financial system: second-order effects (initial travel restrictions and layoffs were first-order effects, new waves of layoffs […]

A Plague Is an Apocalypse. But It Can Bring a New World.

A Plague Is an Apocalypse. But It Can Bring a New World. thumbnail

It’s strange that we now see America threatened by a plague. Because without plague, America, as we know it, wouldn’t exist. It may have been the most devastating epidemic in the history of humankind — surpassing in its mortality rates any before or since, including the Black Death in the Europe of the mid-14th century. […]

What if your government has decided to kill you?

What if your government has decided to kill you? thumbnail

  In the 1976 movie, “Logan’s Run,” the law is that everyone must die when they turn 30. And everyone accepts that law.  “Necroeconomics” is a concept used by some economists to describe the results of the collapse of the Soviet Economy, in the 1990s. Apart from the pure economic disaster, the collapse led to […]

Kunstler: A Bigger Picture

Kunstler: A Bigger Picture thumbnail

Baluchitherium. Gone but not forgotten. The Covid-19 virus itself didn’t run the United States into a ditch but it exposed the weakness and rot in the nation’s drive-train, and now all of us passengers on that disabled bus must decide whether to stay helplessly inside the smoldering wreckage arguing over who’s to blame, or begin […]

The End of an Age: The Failure of Catastrophism

The End of an Age: The Failure of Catastrophism thumbnail

Colin Campbell, the founder of the association for the study of peak oil and gas (ASPO) explaining the essence of oil depletion. The considerations below originate from a post by Michael Krieger where he describes how he is so dismayed by the reaction of the public to the current epidemic that he is closing his […]

Collapse, you say?

General Ideas

Most of the writing I have done for this blog assumes that my readers are at the very least open to thinking about the collapse of our civilization, and more likely that they have already accepted it as probable and are interested in discussing the details of how it might happen and how to cope […]

The Sinking Titanic’s Great Pumps Finally Fail

The Sinking Titanic’s Great Pumps Finally Fail thumbnail

The greater fools still partying in the first-class lounge are in denial that even the greatest, most technologically advanced ship can sink. On April 14, 1912, the liner Titanic, considered unsinkable due to its watertight compartments and other features, struck a glancing blow against a massive iceberg on that moonless, weirdly calm night. In the […]

Here’s What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

Here’s What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown thumbnail

The lockdown that recently took place due to the pandemic was like a practice run for a bigger SHTF event. Many of our prepper theories played out and were accurate, while others weren’t as realistic as we thought beforehand. People who weren’t preppers already learned a lot about why they would want to be better […]

The Collapse Of Ideology And The End Of Escape

General Ideas

Introduction If you have begun to anticipate the climate-driven collapse of societies, what can you wish for? I have written elsewhere about the problems of being attached to hope, if that means we falsely assume we can’t engage in the world creatively unless we have an expectation of a lasting positive outcome. But it can […]

Why Every Person In America Needs To Become A Prepper During The Second Half Of 2020

General Ideas

It has been on my heart to write this article for a few days, but I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to write.  2020 has already been one of the worst years in modern U.S. history, and it looks like the next six months are going to be extremely challenging as well.  But even though […]

Growth, Growth, Growth: What Will Happen?

General Ideas

Dear Dr. Dollar:   Infinite economic growth on a finite planet is impossible and ruinous. And yet the drumbeat goes on for growth, growth, growth. Surely it is true that the world is grossly overpopulated; it is projected to grow to nine billion by 2050. How will the current economy serve these billions? It won’t […]

Michael Lynch: ‘Peak Oil’ Errors Can Teach Us About Covid Statistics

General Ideas

Take the second derivative. Scene from “Go Tell The Spartans.” Sunset Boulevard Back when I was a college student, I went to the movie theater to see the Vietnam-era movie “Go Tell the Spartans,” and one scene struck me: an intelligence office (bespectacled naturally) was explaining to his boss, Burt Lancaster, why he estimated one […]

Covid is not the only crisis in town, here are six others

General Ideas

Important information: The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. This article first appeared in the Telegraph Three months ago, my wife and I were enjoying a week driving round the Alentejo region of Portugal, eating in busy […]

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