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Oil Supply and Prosperity and growth delusions

Global economic turbulence and the prospect of deep recession as we move towards an energy crisis, presents huge challenge. There has been little forewarning and planning. Every local and national authority needs to start now to address these challenges seriously, yet still we carry on with our head in the sands, wasting resources on an epic scale.

Tony Boys's picture

The Realization of Human “Happiness”

The current social/political/economic system is based on the notion that greater economic/material well-being will lead us to "happiness." It doesn't seem to be working too well. Here's why. Although a certain degree of material well-being is necessary for a "decent" life, it is not a sufficient condition for "happiness." What's missing is a centuries-long colonization of the mind that has divorced human life from nature. Unless we reconnect, we will never find "happiness."

High-density housing reflects dense government thinking

Article by Toni Recsei: Citizens in Australia’s major cities are becoming increasingly unhappy about what they perceive as the escalating deterioration in their quality of life - traffic congestion, overloaded public transport, unaffordable housing for young people, increases in the costs of basic services and overcrowding. There is little doubt that recent election results and unfavourable opinion polls are partly an expression of this dissatisfaction. (Article first published on On-Line Opinion, where you may also currently make comments.)

Hugo Chavez proposes mediation mission to Kadhafi

Hugo Chavez, President of the South American oil-producing state of Venezuela, has proposed an international peace mission to Libyan leader, Kadhafi, according to the Venezuelan Minister for Communications.

There Are Limits To Conservation

In our one-party growthist state, left and right factions wage a phoney battle of whether to grow the energy pie to satisfy growing demand or to slow down that growth with more conservation measues. But conservation only postpones the day of reckoning. It is time that we stopped growth at its roots.

Population Inquiry; population numbers risk study; Oz Cities Report

Greens and Libs promote Population Inquiry idea; Dick Smith suggests a population risk study would be better; High-rise buildings don't save energy; recycling is increasing along with total waste

The plasma physics drama (Outlook from Moscow)

Moscow plasma physicist, Boris A. Osadin comes in from the cold winter with a fascinating account of the political history of trends in plasma physics theory, experiment and finance in Russia during the Cold War and today. This is an account of exotic Soviet scientific personalities and rival theoretical schools, as well as the broader associated military and international politics and the tolls on science of an 'atomic Gulag'. It is also a tale of how the financing of the ITER project today may be an outcome of the ways in which US, European and Soviet scientists exploited the crazy Cold War politics to the benefit of their research preferences and to survive.

Who Is Coercing Whom?

The author responds to news of some so-called 'Green groups' preventing discussion of population numbers as a factor in carbon emissions. "Women should have the right not to have children. But they have no right, in the context of overshoot, to have as many children as they or their husbands want. The “right to choose” cannot be the right to abuse. Even the most jealously guarded right must be measured against equally fundamental rights, most especially the right of our species, and others, to live."

Lights out for democracy - privatisation of essential services in Victoria

Victoria is outsourcing its essential services for competitive profit and marketing taxpayer-funded 'gifts' to taxpayers as if they were 'free'. The activities of the sector are to be monitored - but only economically - by a new body calledThe Essential Services Commission - which apparently approves of these 'free' gifts. Would you trust people with so little concern for democracy? A concerned citizen expresses her disgust at the whole scammy system, marketed by naive young people cold-calling customers at home. Comment inside from Essential Services Commission

The Transition Towns Movement; its huge significance and a friendly criticism

It is not oil that sets your greatest insecurity; it is the global economy. lt doesn’t need your town. It will relocate your jobs where profits are greatest. It can flip into recession overnight and dump you and billions of others into unemployment and poverty. It will only deliver to you whatever benefits trickle down from the ventures which maximise corporate profits. It loots the Third World to stock your supermarket shelves. It has condemned much of your town to idleness, in the form of unemployment and wasted time and resources that could be being devoted to meeting urgent needs there. ln the coming time of scarcity it will not look after you. The supreme need is for us to build a radically new economy within our town, and then for us to run it to meet our needs.

Republished on carolynbaker.net.

denis's picture

Ross Gittens' economics confuses energy with material with commodities

Economist, Ross Gittens, discusses the state of the recession in Australia in the Business Age, 13-7-09. He made a comment about China needing lots of steel and energy - the very commodities that Australia supplies. This common use of misleading terminology fosters misunderstanding of what is really happening.

Our Energy Future in 900 words

How can we ever meet the needs of a rising number of people with growing energy demands, when fossil fuels are running out and population growth is undermining efforts to substitute green energy supplies for fossil fuels? Governments are planning massive expansion of nuclear power but it is no answer. Energy is a hugely complex issue. Brian McGavin tries to simplify the picture.

The Final Garnaut Report; A Radical Critique of its Energy Assumptions

The Garnaut Report has failed to discuss the energy assumptions underlying its conclusions. Tim Flannery argues that the core assumption that alternative energy technologies can be scaled up by the huge magnitudes required to replace fossil fuels is invalid. This failure should invalidate the Garnaut Report.

Will industrial society's collapse follow Wall Street collapse?

Jan Lundberg, former oil industry analyst, predicts that a total collapse of industrial society will follow the current meltdown of the U.S. financial markets.

Original article published as Collapse of Wall Street precedes complete disintegration of system. About those "green jobs"... on 16 Sep 08 on Culture Change.

Snowy Hydro CEO uses shareholder funds to push privatisation in defiance of shareholder wishes

In spite of the fact that only on 11 July Mike Kelly Federal Labor Member for Eden-Monaro seemingly quashed speculation that the Government was preparing to privatise the Snowy Hydro scheme, two pages of the Snowy corporation's July newsletter was devoted to pushing the case for privatisation.

UK Ministers warned of nuclear 'albatross'

Labour MP Paul Flynn told the House of Commons the “immense” cost of cleaning up nuclear waste – which he said was £73 billion – was probably an underestimate. The bill would amount to £3,000 for every family in the country.

denis's picture

simple science

Society opened up a Pandora's box when it embraced using the fossil fuels to power industrialization. Now the bloated civilization has to live with a changing climate, a decimated environment and declining fuel.

denis's picture

Industrial civilization Pandora's box

Greek mythology has given us Pandora's box. Economics has released more tangible evils from the ecological box. That is the modern day reality equivalent of the ancient, but perceptive, myth.

Senate Economics Committee pseudo inquiry into Energy Efficiency

Have a look as well at a submission to the so-called, "Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into the National Market Driven Energy Efficiency Target Bill 2007"
which actually addresses the real issues #6 at:
http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/Committee/economics_ctte/energy_efficiency2007/submissions/sublist.htm

What is this thing called "Progress"?

Many people look forward uncritically to a future not too different from the cartoon-world of the Jetsons, where people have mechanical maids, whiz around in airborne cars, and take space-cruises to asteroids and far off planets. Politics continue benignly and poverty has no place. Political rank is preserved in the form of cheerful paternal talking heads, but the slave and servile ranks have been transformed into machines which cannot feel pain or humiliation. A wealthy, not too intelligent middle-class has inherited this astro-playground and keeps order among itself by switching from child to parent in an artificial recreation of the family and original clan system.

denis's picture

The life story of matter and its attribute, energy

Energy is often defined as ‘the ability to do work’ or ‘the ability to do something useful’. They are very misleading definitions that have contributed substantially to the dire situation that civilization is in today.

Book Review: "National Insecurity - The Howard Government's Betrayal of Australia"

This book, by by Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews, the authors of "How to Kill A Country", is a damning expose of how the same Howard Government which cites 'Australia's national Interest" as an excuse to sabotage international efforts to act against the threat of global warming, has, in fact, betrayed those very same interests. Subjects covered include Energy, Rural Industries, Culture, Defence and Blood.

Are nuclear fusion, fission and 'renewables' viable alternatives to fossil fuels?

On top of the hazards of nuclear fission electricity generation, even more environmental threats are posed by mining of uranium, enrichment, reprocessing and disposal of nuclear wastes. A likely consequence of the expansion of uranium mining in Central Australia is that the Eastern seaboard stands to be exposed to clouds bearing poisonous radioactive uranium and other toxic metals blown from the mine tailings dumps (see David Bradbury's film "Blowin' in the wind" for a graphic illustration of this threat).

Environmental consequences of Chinese and Indian growth frankly discused on radio panel discussion

All too many 'discussions' on India and China have in the past have been dominated by innumerate economists with a Cargo Cult mind-set. All we had to do, they would have had us believe, was allow all of our manufacturing industry to be exported to China, export our non-renewable mineral resources and (unsustainably grown) rural produce as well and boundless wealth and prosperity was sure to flow back to us.

denis's picture

The Dependence on Nature Law

"Humans employ a huge range of transient operations they have installed that invariably involve using and abusing natural resources. Each of these operations provides something deemed of value to society during its lifetime. Each of these operations incurs an irrevocable, un-repayable ecological cost. We are irreversibly drawing down on the irreplaceable natural bounty."

Response to Roger Bezdek Peak Oil interview on "The National Interest"

I think, whilst Roger Bezdek's message, that we need to prepare well in advance for Peak Oil is a good one, I think we need to do so with a much greater sense of urgency. I am surprised that he dismissed the suggestion you put to him that we should cease forthwith the expansion of our road, bridge and airport infrastructure.

China chokes on a coal-fired boom

Toxic cloud of progress can be seen from space
A GREAT coal rush is under way across China on a scale not seen anywhere since the 19th century.

Its consequences have been detected half a world away in toxic clouds so big that they can seen from space, drifting across the Pacific to California laden with microscopic particles of chemicals that cause cancer and diseases of the heart and lung.

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Please Critique: Rough EROEI on nuclear enrichment processing in conventional plants

Please Critique:
(Headings have been put at top of the two columns now).
Here is the location of an Excel file which contains a rough calculation of the energy input for enriching uranium in a conventional power plant, using two different enrichment technologies, gas diffusion and gas centrifuge.
Data source was from Wikipedia, see Ref in the Excel fil.
Please feed back.

Can fossil fuels be replaced?

“At one time, the Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI) for oil was at least 100 to 1. We are reaching the point where the EROI of oil will be 1 and no more drilling will take place. It was while the EROI of oil was high that most of our current infrastructure was built.

“Evidence suggests that the EROI of corn ethanol is less than one, which means it takes more energy to make than you get out of it – an energy sink.”

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Winning the Dinosaur Stakes

I think even the most ardent advocates of Thorium would have to grant that Thorium is neither clean or safe. It is only comparatively so when talking of other nuclear fuels. I bet that these groupies of the nuclear industry would not let their kids near Thorium waste for 500 years.

I understand that its reputation as 'clean' derives partly from the fact that a Thorium reactor can use waste from conventional reactors and its advocates say that it can thus be used to convert waste which will be lethal for thousands of years into stuff that is only deadly for 500 years. It is seen as a 'cleaner' technology rather than a 'clean' one. And it is seen as a clean-up technology rather than a 'clean' one. It probably will be a serious consideration for the nuclear club when that party sees an end to cheap Uranium and the increasing cost of Uranium wastes. Could we call that Peak Uranium? At that time look for full development of this partly developed Thorium technology.

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