Ruminations of a Rundown Replicant

Heinberg's Thoughts

spoken post [mp3]

Global oil has peaked. US oil peaked some time ago.

Oil depletion could start as soon as 5 years from now, barring war and economic collapse which would bring it closer. listen to Art Berman

Rationing, without regard for borders, should be the principle focus of a future united global leadership. And, within their agreed priorities, food (and nuclear waste) should be at the top of the list.

This is a pipe dream. A world where each of the 8 billion gets a skerrick of dense energy (or food) isn't going to work. The cake has been baked.

We're losing millions each year to war, disease and starvation. Our masters keep the grim reality away from a populace that's wired to deny unpleasant reality.

The plainly spoken reality is that there are billions of unsuspecting humans with their heads on the block. We don't know how many. The best the sun managed was 1 billion subsistence farmers and hunter gatherers. That's pre-industrial revolution (the big burn), and the ensuing environmental damage.

The reader immediately knows that, with Biden, Johnson and little ScoMo in charge, we're in BIG trouble. We've hit the dirt, and ahead it's impassable.

The sheep won't know until their servo is out of fuel, their supermarket shelves are bare, there's no power, and GOD forbid, social media has been replaced by a black screen.

On a finite earth, unfettered capitalism was doomed from the start. Despite the warnings over a long period, humanity is approaching the brink. There's little awareness, other than that something's up, and life's getting shittier.

There can't be discussion without awareness. What are we transitioning to? Do we have time?

Many believe that non-energy dense renewables, made with finite dense fossils and commodities, can be scaled up without consequence.

It can't be done without a catastrophic reduction in living standards. It's a matter of physics. Energy Return on Energy Invested [EROEI].

It can't be done in its entirety because there aren't enough affordable fossils and commodities (or time) to scale up to anywhere near the energy currently consumed by 8 billion people.

Renewables are replaceables. When they're due for replacement, there may not be a functioning complex dense energy driven economy (and commodities) able to replace them.

Something to keep in mind with the stored waste of ageing nuclear plants.

Which isn't to say that renewables don't have a role to play? They might ease the pain of transition to an exclusively sun driven world.

As Alice Friedemann points out, reviewing Richard Heinberg's 2020 post, "A simple way to understand what’s happening ... and what to do":

Heinberg's "...first idea is important, to use "renewable" energy to supply electricity for applications that are especially important. That is the main reason to build solar and wind turbines at all, to keep the grid up until we run out of the natural gas to do so, since it will be hard enough to adjust to a tremendous decline in transportation and manufacturing."

Heinberg's 2020 overview post is available here. And, here [mp3] in spoken word.

Please note that events like Covid have moved on since 2020.

And, Heinberg talks about taxing the rich. The problem with the rich is the inordinate power they wield. Tax may or may not play a role in curbing that.

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