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TSHTF

TSHTF

You just know everything’s going pear shaped when the venerable acronym TSHTF, well known in our circles, hits mainstream media….. The below article written by Fiona Blackwood from the Hobart ABC Bureau appeared on the ABC News website and it’s so full of ironies I just had to pull it apart. So please bear with what will turn out to be an editing nightmare on my phone while I am still without a working laptop…

“Tasmania has been listed alongside New Zealand, Iceland, the United Kingdom and Ireland as potential havens of the future.” Right….. So whoever wrote this has no idea about food security, because literally nowhere in the northern hemisphere is safe AFAIC.

“The study, published in the journal Sustainability, found Tasmania could become recognised “as Australia’s ‘local refuge (lifeboat)’ as conditions on the continental mainland may become less amenable to supporting large human populations in the future”.

While many people have already moved to Tasmania to escape the heat in other states, some doomsday preppers are weighing up the island state as a post-apocalyptic option.”

Scottsdale's future is changing
Tasmania is already being chosen by mainlanders for its scenic landscape and relaxed lifestyle. (Supplied: Dorset Council)

“Tasmania scored highly in the report in terms of its climate, electricity supply, agricultural resources and population density.”

Mr Polin's land was put on the market in January 2012.
Mr Polin’s land included a bunker during the cold war in case of a nuclear holocaust.(ABC)

“The study states that rising populations and energy use have led to climate change, increased risk of pandemics and ecological destruction.

As a result, it found that human civilisation is in a “perilous position with regards to its future”.

“Professor of Human Geography and Planning at the University of Tasmania Jason Byrne agreed the state would be a good option to seek refuge “if things went pear-shaped globally”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The concept of Peak Sun Hours

The concept of Peak Sun Hours

Further to my recent post about the intermittency of solar power, I thought I’d tackle some of you more mathematically challenged and hopefully bring more light (no pun intended) to the problems facing those who believe in 100% renewables running complex civilisation.

If on a perfect cloudless sunny day you plot the output of a solar array between sunrise and sunset you’ll end up with a perfect bell curve. This rarely happens of course. Clouds come and go, and depending on where your panels are installed all sorts of things can shade your panels, like trees. The curve then comes out looking rather less perfect, a bit like this…:

The pale blue area is the cloudless curve, the darker one is real life. Around 8am there’s a dip, could be caused by a cloud or a tree; and by the way, it only takes partial shading of a single panel to cause s drop off in production for the entire array. So a shadow caused by a stink pipe protruding through one’s roof could cause this….

Back to the curve. The AREA under this curve is important. It represents the ENERGY generated by the power shown on the y axis multiplied by the time on the X axis. Energy is power X time, hence kWh is the preferred unit of energy when discussing electricity.

The variability of the sun’s input plus all the shading issues make measuring the energy generated on any one day kind of difficult. Luckily, we have technology….

Maximum Power Point Trackers (MPPTs) have white man’s magic built into them to not just measure energy but even store the data so that nerds like us can talk about it and even blog about it…!

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

More on the thermodynamic black hole…

More on the thermodynamic black hole…

I recently wrote about the thermodynamic black hole; articles about ERoEI keep popping up in my in tray that truly baffle me…… As Alice Friedemann told Chris Martenson in the podcast I discussed in the aforementioned blog post, “everyone disagrees on what to leave in or out of their ERoEI analyses”….

I was pointed to another blog called Ramez Naam where the following was published…:

There’s a graph making rounds lately showing the comparative EROIs of different electricity production methods. (EROI is Energy Return On Investment – how much energy we get back if we spend 1 unit of energy. For solar this means – how much more energy does a solar panel generate in its lifetime than is used to create it?)

This EROI graph that is making the rounds is being used to claim that solar and wind can’t support an industrialized society like ours.

But its numbers are wildly different from the estimates produced by other peer-reviewed literature, and suffers from some rather extreme assumptions, as I’ll show.

Here’s the graph.

eroi-of-solar-wind-nuclear-coal-natural-gas-hydro-800x630

This graph is taken from Weißbach et al, Energy intensities, EROIs, and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants (pdf link). That paper finds an EROI of 4 for solar and 16 for wind, without storage, or 1.6 and 3.9, respectively, with storage. That is to say, it finds that for every unit of energy used to build solar panels, society ultimately gets back 4 units of energy. Solar panels, according to Weißbach, generate four times as much energy over their lifetimes as it takes to manufacture them.

Personally, I think these figures are a bit on the optimistic side, yet the author has a problem with them for being too low…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Net Zero: a failure for climate change mitigation

Net Zero: a failure for climate change mitigation

Earth and Humanity

Earth and Humanity

Every year, Nate Hagens produces a video for Earth Day. Nate is someone I cannot admire enough. These videos normally last about an hour, but this year one of his University colleagues told him it was about time he stopped pussy footing around and tell it like is. So this year’s effort runs for almost three hours…… and it’s Nate’s tour de force…! You probably won’t learn much if you’ve been lurking on this blog long enough, but you won’t be disappointed, and you should certainly share the hell out of it, because it’s fast becoming urgent for the ignorant masses to find out the truth….

 

The implications of collapsing ERoEI

The implications of collapsing ERoEI

Judging by the relatively low level of interest the past few articles published here regarding the collapse of fossil fuel ERoEI (along with PV’s) have attracted, I can only conclude that most people just don’t get it……. How can I possibly fix this……?

When I first started ‘campaigning’ on the issue of Peak Oil way back in 2000 or so, 2020 seemed like a veoileroeiry long way away. I still thought at the time that renewables would ‘save us’, or at the very least that energy efficiency would be taken up on a massive scale. None of those things happened.

Way back then, I gave many public powerpoint presentations, foolishly thinking that, presented with the facts, (NOT alternative facts like we have today…) people would wake up to themselves. I even foolishly believed that the Australian Greens would take this up as a major issue, because after all the ‘solutions’ to Peak Oil also happen to be the ‘solutions’ for Climate Change. Now you know why I have turned into such a cynic.

In that presentation, there was one important slide, shown above. It is indelible in my memory.

I’ve now come across a very similar chart, except this one has dates on it….. and 2020 no longer seems very far away at all….

COLLAPSING ERoEI IN ONE CHART

peakeroei

I have selected three years; 2017, in red; 2020 in black; 2025 in green.

Each year has two lines. One for how much energy is being extracted, and the lower one of the same colour shows the net energy available from that extraction. The ‘missing’ energy, lost to crashing ERoEI, is the difference between the two lines of the same colour….  Already, in 2017, we probably only have the amount of energy that was available mid 1980.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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