Archive for the ‘Collapse’ Category

The Anthropocene

May 15, 2019

Very disturbing video from Ian Angus :

A couple of important videos

May 14, 2019

The first is an interview with Guy McPherson, who writes Nature Bats Last blog. In it he mentions ‘global dimming’. I’d seen it referred to but wasn’t really up to speed on it. It’s what happens when particulates from the burning of fossil fuels (which is actually pollution) collect in the atmosphere and reflect incoming sunlight back into space, providing a cooling effect to oppose the heating effect from CO2 in the atmosphere, also caused by the burning of fossil fuels. It’s a catch 22 situation—one cools, one heats. If we stop burning fossil fuels we lose the dimming/cooling effect and the earth cops the full brunt of the warming caused by CO2. If we continue burning fossil fuels, we add more CO2 and we get more warming.

Here’s Guy :

https://archive.org/details/PBCInConversation042GuyMcPherson

The second is a documentary on global dimming itself :

https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/global-dimming/

A Surfeit of Tims

April 8, 2019

There are three bloggers called ‘Tim’ writing on the energy scene whose blogs I read regularly (and often get confused) —Tim Watkins, Tim Morgan and Tim Garrett.

Tim Watkins is a UK blogger and writes The Consciousness of Sheep. A huge variety of posts come under the headings, Economy, Energy, Environment and Society. He also has a book with the same title as the blog, which condenses writings on all the concepts into one place. The blog actually started as an offshoot from the book. Read his ‘about’ page for a bio. He says his aim is to provide…….”a running commentary on the slow motion train wreck that is Western civilisation in general and its British variant in particular.” If you want to understand Brexit or the ins and outs of fracking, he’s the one. I know I’ll be in for an interesting and informative read when I see his name in my blog feed reader.

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Tim Morgan, also from the UK, writes Surplus Energy Economics with the by-line, How the economy REALLY works. He says: “Although this blog will cover a wide range of topics, my main interest is in a radically new way of thinking about economics. This is explained in my 2013 book Life After Growth.”  I’m currently reading it (for the second time).

The ‘radically new way’ of thinking about economics is to see the economy as basically an energy system and not a monetary one. Everything we do, use, consume and buy is provided by energy, mostly fossil fuel energy (about 80% of the total energy mix). Tim says: “Money is the language used in the discussion of economics, but the real economy is not a monetary system at all. The economy is a function of energy, a term which needs to be defined to include human labour and nutrition as well as external inputs such as oil, natural gas and coal. The sophisticated societies of today are a function of enormous inputs of energy.”

The most important thing to understand is that, “whenever energy is accessed, some energy is consumed in the extraction process and it is surplus energy—that is, the difference between these amounts—that determines economic output.” Hence the blog’s name—surplus energy economics. Anyone familiar with the concept of EROEI—energy returned on energy invested—will see where this is going.

There’s plenty of information on how the financial system works—something that’s always been a mystery to me.

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Tim Garrett is physicist studying atmospheric science. His blog is called Nephologue—Exploring the interplay of thermodynamics, economics, and climate. He also has a home page with links to his papers here. I found lots of interesting information in the links. Tim has discovered a theory that explains and quantifies the relationship between wealth and energy consumption. The Wikipedia page explaining that is here.  I must admit that I’ve ignored the maths (not my thing) and just focused on the descriptions, such as: “Civilization is an open thermodynamic system. It uses external sources of primary energy and raw materials and dissipates waste heat and materials.” There are thus implications for sustainability and climate change. The Wikipedia page is a bit on the technical side for me, so I prefer his writings in the blog and home page.

Preparing for collapse

March 30, 2019

One of my favourite bloggers on the collapse scene is Irv Mills from Ontario, Canada. Irv is currently writing a series of posts with advice on preparing for the collapse of industrial civilisation.

The blog is called The Easiest Person to Fool.

I can’t remember how I found Irv’s blog; I suppose I just followed a link, as you do. When I find a new blog I always read the ‘about me’ section first. I want to know who this person is, their backgound and qualifications, if any, and their reasons for writing. When I read what Irv had written about himself and his beliefs, I could have been reading about myself. I knew I was going to like this blog.

So far he’s up to part 8 in the series on preparing for collapse. The full list of posts is below. There’s some very good advice there. I’ll add a link to new pages as they appear. He also does a regular post on what he’s been reading each month and there are often some interesting links there, too.