Tag «electricity»

Economic and environmental consequences of expensive oil

What are the causes and consequences of expensive oil? The first question is posed in this article, and answered surprisingly well by a neoclassical economist. He understands the relationship between the price of oil and economic growth, and he hints at constrained supply while also expressing irrational exuberance about continued economic growth. As an economist, …

Prescription for (Killing) the Planet

Prescription for the Planet was written by Tom Blees and published in 2008. It was recommended to me, with a strong sense of urgency, by a couple friends. It is written in a very compelling style, which is too bad because it suckers people into the kind of wishing thinking for which we’ve become infamous …


If Ben Bernanke and the fools at the Fed actually thought the industrial economy was recovering, they’d jack up interest rates. When the prime rate is up around 5%, you’ll know the industrial economy is back on track. Alternatively, you can monitor the extinction rate of non-human species.

Balance is for Buddhists

Balance is a central tenet of Buddhism, foundational to the four noble truths and the eight-fold way. Balance is a superb notion and I strongly support, for individuals at least, balance, moderation, and many other principles of Buddhism. Indeed, had Buddhism found roots in this country a couple hundred years ago, we probably would have avoided, or at least delayed, the series of catastrophes we now face. But with fewer than one percent of the American population dedicated to Buddhism, it’s a little late for balance and moderation to work their magic at the scale of this country, much less planet Earth.

Power Outage

As should be clear by now, industrial humans — or at least our “leaders” — have chosen not door number one (ecological collapse) and not door number two (economic collapse), but both of the above.

A Friend of the Earth

On the other hand, Ty’s loneliness in a crowded world, induced by his intellect and his passion for the planet, remind me of an email message I received a few months back from a brilliant former student. It included this pithy line, which says, better than I ever have, my oft-felt sentiment: “Despite overpopulation I find the world a lonely place.”

BushCo’s peak-oil plan

My talk to archaeologists focused on peak oil and the associated collapse of civilization. Turns out archaeologists love to study the collapse of civilization, with a minor exception: They aren’t particularly keen on hearing about the collapse of their own civilization.