Building a world of
resilient communities.

The Earth's plants produce exactly what others eat

The enormity of the biofuel lie is such that I constantly rub my eyes and pinch myself to check if this is merely a bad dream or modern fascism has arrived.

Disruptive Technologies? Really?!

Too many experts from McKinsey and elsewhere seem to think that life is like an iPhone screen. But here is the bad news: Life does not care about iPhones, iPads, and similar.

What if there is Peak Oil?

So here is the dirty little secret of our civilization: It runs...energy per unit time...In other words, having one billion dollars in your checking account does not help you with purchasing a Rolls Royce with cash if your daily withdrawal limit is 100 dollars.  

Oil in the Arctic

Picture a vast gray ocean that dissolves into gray sky pregnant with heavy dark clouds, and a gray flat sandy shore that slowly oozes up from the Chukchi Sea. On August 30, 2012, we flew close to the Burger Prospect at 500 ft above the sea level.  This is the area where one day Shell will drill their first wells.  The sea was dotted with ice floes, some very large.  Similar …

Peak, What Peak?

Before I discuss the logic behind negating a peak of production of anything, let me sum up where we are in the U.S. in terms of crude oil production.

What to do?

When I share with people my assessments of where the Earthlings are stumbling rather blindly, my listeners often say: "Oh, you are such a pessimist! What would you do differently?" My short answer is: "Stop, face reality, and think. Facing reality is not pessimism. Do not try to be a better, more obedient sheep, whose sheephood is certified by a Harvard et al. at a huge expense.

Commentary: The world is finite, isn't it?

Yesterday I gave a presentation to a group of distinguished business leaders. In my presentation, I tried to show that the global rate of production of petroleum and the associated lease condensate is at an all-time high or a "peak" that at a greatly expanded scale looks like a "plateau." I used my published, peer-reviewed extensions of King Hubbert's approach to support my …

Deepwater Horizon: Lessons from Petroleum Engineering and the Roman Empire

Why did the Deepwater Horizon blow up last year, kill 11 workers, and cause the massive oil eruption into the Gulf of Mexico? You're likely to get different answers if you talk separately to a petroleum engineer or an anthropologist. When they team up, it gets really interesting. Anthropologist Joseph Tainter (author of The Collapse of Complex Societies) and petroleum engineer Tad Patzek talk …

The bearable weight of not-being

Save the planet?! What a stupid and arrogant thing to say! How about this: “Please, please, God, let the planet save us, and we promise to get out of her way.” Of course, as a species, we are organically incapable of saying this simple prayer and following up on it.

Thermodynamics of the Corn-Ethanol Biofuel cycle

Journal paper quantifying the degree of non-renewability of a major biofuel: ethanol produced from industrially-grown corn. Extensive work seriously challenging the right of this process to renewable status, on net energy, soil depletion, and government subidy-dependence grounds.
MORE ARTICLES +