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Peak Coal In China

Citibank has released an interesting report on "peak coal" in China - referring to peak demand rather than any supply driven peak of production (something I view as quite far off) -The Unimaginable: Peak Coal in China. The limit to coal use appears to be how much pollution the Chinese population is willing to tolerate - a reminder that there is more than one "limit to …

Our Clean Energy Future

Following on my recent post bidding Farewell to The Oil Drum, I'd like to have a look at what I view as our longer term future for energy production and consumption.

The end of Australian manufacturing?

Alan Kohler had an interesting column in The Business Spectator recently ("The cars that ate Australia") warning that as our car fleet transitions from the internal combustion to electric vehicles, local car manufacturers need to start looking to manufacture EV's or they (and all their suppliers) will end up shutting down.

From counterculture to cyberculture: the life and times of Stewart Brand

Fred Turner's book looks at the influence Bucky Fuller had on a range of people, in particular Stewart Brand, who helped create first the hippie counterculture and the back to the land movement of the sixties and seventies, then later the cyberculture that grew up around the San Francisco bay area.

Improving the Performance of Solar Thermal Electrical Power

Solar thermal is a way of harnessing the largest source of energy available to us, so in this post I'll have a look at the upswing in interest in the use of this technology for electricity generation in recent years and look at some of the approaches being pursued to make it economically competitive with coal fired power generation.

Peak Oil And The Tea Party Movement

Time Magazine recently had an article (Why the Tea Party Movement Matters) that looked at the latest manifestation of populism in the United States, with widespread discontent at the state of the US economy and the US political system, particularly the lack of transparency evident in many government initiatives ranging from the bail-out of the financial system to proposed changes to …

The Bloom Box: An Energy Breakthrough?

Fuel cell company Bloom Energy made quite a stir over the weekend, with a spot on the CBS "Sixty Minutes" TV program in the United States (The Bloom Box: An Energy Breakthrough? - see the link for the video and transcript).

Mythological thinking, the de-industrialisation of the West and the New World Order

The idea that the West is being deindustrialised may not be as wacky as it appears at first glance, so I might spend some time exploring a few problematic trends affecting the western world in general and the United States in particular.

Is there enough food out there for nine billion people ?

Science has a paper on the changes to the current global food system required to support the expanded global population we'll see in a couple of decades time, noting that radical changes to agriculture will be required to support 9 billion people.

Norman Borlaug: Saint Or Sinner?

The father of the "green revolution" in agriculture, Norman Borlaug, recently passed away due to cancer, at the age of 95. Borlaug didn't approve of the "green revolution" moniker, dubbing it "a miserable term" (what he would have made of "The Agrichemical Revolutionary" isn't clear) but his work has had a far-reaching impact on the course of human development.
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