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Oil Limits and Climate Change: How They Fit Together

We hear a lot about climate change, especially now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently published another report. At the same time, oil is reaching limits, and this has an effect as well. How do the two issues fit...

Posted April 14, 2014    

The Absurdity of US Natural Gas Exports

Quiz:1. How much natural gas is the United States currently extracting?(a) Barely enough to meet its own needs (b) Enough to allow lots of exports (c) Enough to allow a bit of exports (d) The United States is a natural gas importerAnswer...

Posted April 3, 2014    

Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two

The two big stories of our day are(1) Our economic problems: The inability of economies to grow as rapidly as they would like, add as many jobs as they would like, and raise the standards of living of citizens as much as they would like. Associated...

Posted March 22, 2014    

Reaching Debt Limits: With or Without China's Problems, We Have a Problem

Credit Problems are a Very Current IssueIn the past several years, the engine of world’s growth has been China. China’s growth has been fueled by debt. China now seems to be running into difficulties with its industrial growth, and its difficulty...

Posted March 13, 2014    

Reasons for our Energy Predicament: An Overview

Quiz: What will cause world oil supply to fall?Too little oil in the groundOil prices are too low for oil producersOil prices are too high for oil consumers leading to recession, debt defaults, and ultimately a cut back in credit availability and...

Posted March 6, 2014    

Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending

Steve Kopits recently gave a presentation explaining our current predicament: the cost of oil extraction has been rising rapidly (10.9% per year) but oil prices have been flat. Major oil companies are finding their profits squeezed, and...

Posted February 26, 2014    

Reaching Limits to Growth: What Should our Response Be?

Oil limits seem to be pushing us toward a permanent downturn, including a crash in credit availability, loss of jobs, and even possible government collapse. In this process, we are likely to lose access to both fossil fuels and grid electricity....

Posted February 19, 2014    

Limits to Growth: At Our Doorstep, But not Recognized

How long can economic growth continue in a finite world? This is the question the 1972 book The Limits to Growth by Donella Meadows and others sought to answer. The computer models that the team of researchers produced strongly suggested that the...

Posted February 7, 2014    

A Forecast of Our Energy Future; Why Common Solutions Don’t Work

In order to understand what solutions to our energy predicament will or won’t work, it is necessary to understand the true nature of our energy predicament. Most solutions fail because analysts assume that the nature of our energy problem is quite...

Posted January 31, 2014    

Ten Reasons Intermittent Renewables (Wind and Solar PV) are a Problem

Intermittent renewables–wind and solar photovoltaic panels–have been hailed as an answer to all our energy problems. Certainly, politicians need something to provide hope, especially in countries that are obviously losing their supply of oil, such...

Posted January 23, 2014    

Why EIA, IEA, and Randers' 2052 Energy Forecasts are Wrong

What is the correct way to model the future course of energy and the economy? There are clearly huge amounts of oil, coal, and natural gas in the ground.  With different approaches, researchers can obtain vastly different indications. I will...

Posted January 16, 2014    

Why a Finite World is a Problem

Why is a finite world a problem? I can think of many answers:1. A finite world is a problem because we and all of the other creatures living in this world share the same piece of “real estate.” If humans use increasingly more resources, other...

Posted January 6, 2014