The Dimming Bulb

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 7, 2014

Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner


While all eyes are focused right now on the Oil Price Collapse, with it’s numerous implications as far as the Energy Industry, Bankstering and Transportation Industries are concerned, in the background and not well reported on or chronicled statistically is the ever widening problem of Electrical Grid Blackouts & Brownouts.

Even more than liquid fuels for transportation, Electricity DEFINES the Modern Industrial Culture, and is considered an “Essential Service“.

Living without electricity in today’s technological world may be difficult to imagine. Yet the reality of living without computers, mobile phones and entertainment systems, and managing a transport system thrown into chaos by an absence of traffic lights, trains and subways, may become increasingly common, according to an academic study published today.

New research by Hugh Byrd, Professor of Architecture at the University of Lincoln, UK, and Steve Matthewman, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, reveals that today’s occasional blackouts are dress rehearsals for the future, when they will occur with greater frequency and increased severity.

According to the study, power cuts will become more regular around the globe as electrical supply becomes increasingly vulnerable and demand for technology continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.

Professor Byrd said: “Electricity fuels our existence. It powers water purification, waste, food, transportation and communication systems. Modern social life is impossible to imagine without it, and whereas cities of the past relied on man-power, today we are almost completely reliant on a series of interlocking technical systems. Our research therefore explores what happens when the power goes off, and explains why the security of fuel supply is such a pressing social problem.”

Electrical power has been defined as a ‘critical infrastructure’ by the International Risk Governance Council, in that it is a ‘large-scale human-built system that supplies continual services central to society’s functioning’. However, electricity supply is less robust than commonly supposed.

You simply cannot run any modern city without copious amounts of Electricity, most often provided by Coal Plants around the world, but with dependence also on all the forms of Fossil Fuel and Nuclear, as well as Hydro and Wind Power in selected locations.Every one of these forms of Power generations faces issues now, and the grid which distributes the power also is deteriorating and keeping it repaired and functional after every weather related problem from Tornadoes to Ice Storms and just plain old T-Storms costs every community more money they just do not have every day.

Going back to 1989 in Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC Machine, Richard Duncan developed a metric of PER CAPITA Energy, which is much more important than precisely how much Oil is coming out of the ground at any given point in time, although despite the Hype on Fracking, Oil Production globally has been FLATLINED for near a decade now, and the Fracked stuff just keeps us treading water, at an enormous price.

In the intervening time between January of 2005 and January of 2014 though, the Total Global Population of Homo Sapiens has increased by roughly 1 Billion People with a current total population somewhat in excess of 7 Billion, for a roughly 15% Population increase over the time period:

So, just to stay EVEN in Per Capita Energy Consumption, over this time period Energy Extraction would have needed to increase also by 15%, but obviously it has not.  The amount of AVAILABLE per capita energy has been decreasing for quite some time, due mainly to Population Increase while the extraction rate for energy has remained more or less Flatlined for around a decade now.

At this point however, as credit becomes constricted to access energy in most places of the world (Ugo Bardi for instance noted that Italy has seen a 35% drop in Oil Consumption over the last decade), it’s not just Per Capita energy consumption that is on the downslide, but GROSS TOTAL CONSUMPTION as well.

You can see this in this chart from Doug Short, which shows a 10% drop in Gasoline consumption here in the FSoA over the last 6 years since the end of the Consumption Peak in 2008

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 11.57.00 AM

So, the Demand Destruction and decreasing consumption of Energy is pretty apparent by the numbers in the Liquid Fuels area, but what about in the even more critical area of Electricity, powering the Lights, the Sewage Treatment Plants, the Elevators and the Subway systems of the major cities that have exploded in population since the Age of Oil began?

Fortunately for us observers of Energy Resource Depletion & Dissipation, we have available the Suomi NPP Visible Infrared Radiometer Suite, which has made some marvelous images of the night time Earth, including the Black Marble Image.

Here’s the Flat Map of the Whole Globe, revealing clearly where industrialization has infected over the years:

Night Lights 2012 - Flat map

Remarkable how small a portion of the world really got Wired Up here before burning through the legacy of a few million years of fossil fuel collection

After doing a bit of Googling, I found these two images of North America, one from 2012, the other from 1995.


Now, these two images were captured with different equipment, but you can see unmistakeably how much the Great Plains area has diminished in overall lighting, with one notable exception, that VERY large and bright spot I circled in Yellow.  What do you suppose that is?

That folks is the Bakken Oil Fields around Williston, ND.  It’s partially increased electric lighting, but mostly NG Flaring.  Here’s a Closeup View:

You can see the opposite effect if you look in the Southeast, increasing brightness down there where a lot of development took place through the period.

With the Suomi Instrument now up, detailed analysis of changing amounts of “light pollution” have been undertaken, most notably around Europe in this report published in January of 2014 in the Journal Nature:

Contrasting trends in light pollution across Europe based on satellite observed night time lights

The analysis is very thorough, and generates some very interesting data

We assessed changes in artificial lighting in terms of the extent of the areas decreasing and increasing in brightness over the region. The method was validated by the successful attribution of regions of both increasing and decreasing intensity in a calibration area in South-West England to urban and industrial developments, confirming that the observed direction and timing of change is consistent with known changes in nighttime light intensity on the ground. We then extended the approach to map areas of increasing and decreasing brightness across Europe. While the brightness of nighttime light pollution across Europe is increasing overall, clear regional differences exist, with considerable regions experiencing apparent net dimming over the period.

Here is the area around Southwest England used for calibration purposes.  Blue areas are decreasing light intensity, Red areas increasing:

15-year changes in nighttime brightness in South-West England.

Highlighted regions: (a) Annual trend in brightness for areas associated with the china-clay (kaolin) industry, (blue line); total china clay production (black line). (b) Annual trend in brightness for the urban region of Torbay (blue); total power load on municipal street lighting in Torbay (black). (c) Annual trend in brightness for Wytch Farm onshore oil field (blue); total oil production from the field (black). Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.

For Europe as a whole, here’s the maps and analysis:

(a) Intercalibrated mean brightness for Europe 2005–2010. (b) 10-year change in brightness, calculated as the difference in mean values for the periods 2005–2010 and 1995–2000. Grey areas are saturated throughout the time period, so trends cannot be detected. (c) Proportions of the total land surface area for which artificial light was detected to increase (orange) and decrease (blue) by more than 3 DN units in constituent countries of Europe. *Data south of 65 degrees latitude only. Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.

Changes in European light pollution

In common with recent studies in Asia13, 16, 24, Europe has experienced a marked net increase in nighttime light pollution since satellite images first became available (Figure 2). Inferences about heavily urbanised areas must be treated with caution as the DMSP/OLS sensors saturate at high light levels; however, marked regional differences within the unsaturated rural and suburban areas exist. It has been previously noted that large areas of some countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Moldova and Ukraine, experienced a contraction in lighting following independence22; the effects of this change are still evident in this study over a more extended time period. Widespread decreases in brightness also occur in Hungary and Slovakia. Moreover, we find that several economically developed countries, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Northern Germany also show areas apparently experiencing detectable localised declines in brightness.

The changes here aren’t uniform, and while some are predictable based on the current economic situation, some others are counter-intuitive.  Here’s a Geographical breakdown of a few selected locations:

Selected areas of maps shown in Figure 2, showing contrasts in trends in detected nighttime light between different countries.

(a) Belgium shows decreases in nighttime brightness along the motorway network, while neighbouring regions of France have increased substantially in brightness. (b) Slovakia shows marked decreases in brightness, with the exception of Bratslava and towns in the west of the country. In contrast, neighbouring regions of Poland have become substantially brighter. Map generated using ESRI ArcMap 9.2.

As you might have expected if you follow collapse dynamics, countries formerly in the orbit of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), which did not glom onto the Western economy after the fall like Slovakia see a marked Dimming of the Bulbs, whereas countries like Poland got Brighter Bulbs in the aftermath of that collapse.  Southern European Nations which saw a lot of investment over the time period got brighter, whereas aging industrial countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have grown dimmer.

Moving around the globe to the East, you can see the close relationship between power consumption and GDP by looking at the graph of Power Output versus GDP for the period from 1998 through 2012:

What can we expect moving forward here into the future?

Well, far as China is concerned, those numbers are going to continue to slide, and in all probability you are going to see the Bulbs go Dimmer in China over the next couple of years.  Even more than China, India is likely to see total lumens decreasing rapidly as time passes.

Unlike the numbers dished out by the Chinese Politburo or Da Fed and the BLS here which can be easily massaged to make it appear as though there is “Growth” where there is no real growth, the image data generated from the Suomi Satellite is harder to disguise, though of course not impossible either since both NASA and NOAA are Goobermint agencies.  At the moment however, there are probably too many scientists with access to the real time data streams to falsify the imagery, and too few people who recognize what is going on for it to matter on a political level if the Globe clearly shows a progressive and increasing Dimming effect.

If you are aware of these things though, this provides one of the BEST METRICS around to observe the collapse of Industrial Civilization.  At the moment I am unable to locate a way to access regular updated satellite imagery on this for the typical web surfer, however I am hopeful that my good friend Ugo Bardi, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Firenza may have better luck through the university system.

 photo city_black_out_500.jpgBesides watching and cateloging as cities like Detroit and Hoboken grow dimmer, another fascinating Bright Spot to watch over the next year is that Bonfire going on in the Bakken right now, which one of my friends in the industry who flies in there regularly says is simply amazing to see from the air.  With an already 40% decrease in Drilling permits being applied for as the price of Oil drops here, it seems likely that this particular Bright Light will be a lot Dimmer next year, and dimmer still the year after that.

How LONG will it take for the Planet to go COMPLETELY Dark at night?  Probably a relatively long time, but at the same time there will probably be occassions where large regions go dark simultaneously and other occassions where the overall lumens decrease rapidly in a given location as many of the lights are extinguished.  A simple example would be a struggling municipality cutting off half its Streetlights in order to save on the Electric Bill.  Or a Suburb with a lot of foreclosures having a greater number of Dark McMansions.

1995-2012-lightsThe Comparison Photo I put up of North America 1998 vs 2012 probably gives the best indication of how the loss of electric power will go, first disappearing from Low Population Zones and gradually spreading toward the densely populated areas.  It looks as though California is getting close to being Sunffed Out going West from Bakken, and moving Eastward the Mississipi River Population Zone will see more Dimming.  This correlates well with the ongoing Geopolitical problems in places like Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, and of course rust belt cities like Detroit and Gary, Indiana.

In the Final Countdown, probably only a few Major Metros of First World cities like NY Shity, London, Berlin etc will still have so many lights on they resemble Diodes on a circuit board.  How LONG will this process take though?  Absolute Light Intensity Dimming  in North America over the last 15 years is discernable, but it hasn’t totally stopped BAU in the FSoA.  If the regression is a linear function, in another 15 years things would be worse, but not altogether different.

Thing is, this is probably not a linear function, as suggested by Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Cliff.

Once the dropoff begins, it tends to accelerate with many positive feedback loops involved.  So in all likelihood we will see acceleration of this phenomenon around the globe over the next 15 years, and a significant portion of the currently Lit Up portions of the Black Marble will have gone dark by then.

Here in the FSoA, probably the most significant one to watch over the next couple of years is the Hoover Dam.  As of Novemeber 2014, the water level is at 1083 feet.  Here’s the last few years of records for Lake Mead:

2007  1129.55  1129.35  1125.79  1120.69  1115.89  1113.50  1111.58  1111.84  1111.06  1110.95  1111.22  1114.81
2008  1116.46  1116.93  1115.65  1110.61  1107.05  1104.98  1104.42  1105.13  1105.76  1107.94  1107.33  1110.97
2009  1111.78  1111.43  1107.40  1101.26  1096.92  1095.26  1094.20  1093.73  1093.68  1093.26  1093.52  1096.30
2010  1100.02  1103.21  1100.66  1098.00  1094.30  1089.30  1086.97  1086.91  1083.81  1082.36  1081.94  1086.30
2011  1091.73  1095.78  1096.39  1095.76  1097.90  1102.38  1107.07  1113.45  1116.04  1121.00  1125.82  1132.83
2012  1134.18  1133.06  1129.41  1123.93  1119.38  1115.84  1115.92  1116.56  1115.16  1116.50  1117.24  1120.36
2013  1122.32  1122.14  1118.59  1112.91  1108.36  1105.98  1105.92  1106.13  1106.92  1104.04  1106.36  1106.73
2014  1108.75  1107.94  1101.71  1094.55  1087.46  1082.66  1080.60  1081.55  1081.33  1082.79  1083.57

Hoover reaches the “Dead Pool” level at 950 feet, still 130 feet away, but relief from the drought affecting the Colorado River watershed is nowhere in sight at the moment.

“The level of Lake Mead is supposed to drop to an elevation of 1081.75 over the next few days, which is the lowest elevation it’s ever been since the lake was filled when Hoover Dam was built,” said Rose Davis, Bureau of Reclamation.

Lake Mead is not only the primary water source for Las Vegas, but it’s also how Hoover Dam produces power. Simply put, the lower the lake, the less electricity.

“Our concern is the ability to generate power. We’ve seen a 23 percent reduction in our capacity to generate power since the lake continues to drop,” Davis said.

The hydroelectric facility is taking steps so its current capacity of 1592 megawatts won’t go down anymore.

“We’ve been proactive over the last five years in putting in new equipment that operates more efficiently at low lake levels,” Davis said.

Three wide head turbines have been installed, and two more are on the way in the next couple years. It’s hoped they will arrive before Lake Mead gets to catastrophic levels that could bring the dam to screeching halt.

“What we call the dead pool, which is the elevation of Lake Mead where Hoover Dam cannot generate any power is about 950 feet,” Davis said.

Even without complete shutdown at Hoover, a 23% Reduction in power output is already hugely significant.  Referencing back to the close connection between GDP and Electric Power however, such a large reduction in Power Output means a similarly large reduction in GDP for the neighborhoods served by Hoover, which are vast going from Vegas to Phoenix to Los Angeles.  To replace that power they have to BUY fossil fuel power off the grid, every Kilowatt Hour Hoover does not produce is more money out of the ever more insolvent coffers of everyone living in this neighborhood.

However, until Hoover shuts down completely, these issues mostly are not recognized, neither by the typical J6P nor the MSM reporting on it and not even by most Economistas.  They don’t tie the ever decreasing Standard of Living to the Falling Water Level in Lake Mead.  These are disparate phenomena to them.  In fact your Standard of Living is ALL about how much Power you consume, and the higher the power consumption, the higher your ‘Standard of Living”, at least by the common metrics of the Industrial Era such as GDP.  The less access you have to energy, either Electricity or Gasoline to power your car, the lower your Standard of Living will be, eventually achieving 3rd World levels where the vast majority of the population has access to neither one.

How fast this will actually spin down still remains an open question, but now we do have Metrics by which to observe it, and to document that in fact there IS a Collapse in Progress, which most of the population remains in Denial about.  The end result is quite clear, it is the End of Industrial Civilization, and this is the FINAL COUNTDOWN.

Prior Collapse Cafes of Interest

14 Responses to The Dimming Bulb

  • Mister Roboto says:

    This hissing of the radiator less than a yard away from me on this chilly Wisconsin morning reminds me that another thing we will certainly suffer without is central heating in northern climates, at least during those winter seasons when the unstable jet stream is dipping way south instead of way north. Pretty much all central heating in the USA is fossil-fuel powered. Homes and workplaces that are electrically heated may be benefiting from nuclear power (my favorite energy source! 😛 ). Non-electrically heated homes use propane (derived from natural gas and petroleum), coal, or natural gas, for the most part. Only older homes rely on oil heating. I lived in such a home when I was a small child and remember the oil truck making its periodic stops at our house. I wouldn’t be surprised if coal were on its way out as a direct source, too.

  • Mister Roboto says:

    I just went back and checked Wikipedia. Steam-heating systems for larger buildings still use coal-fired and oil-fired systems.

  • Musashi says:

    Wood stove can do the job in a small-scale, well-insulated rural home. Well-insulated is the key…and small-scale. No 10,000 sq-ft monstrosities. Obviously not scalable to current pop #s.

  • Musashi says:

    But that only covers heat and cooking, no juice for your CFL/LED lights 💡

  • Davebee says:

    Here in ‘industrialized’ South Africa the power supply/grid collapse is in full swing already. Daily NATION WIDE power cuts are occurring more frequently and also unannounced. They try to use a euphemism for power cuts, the state power supplier Eskom calls them ‘Load shedding’ in that they rob Peter to pay Paul.
    It’s now December and summer time with a lot of industry going on holiday and Eskom is struggling to keep the lights on even now…How they will cope in Jan 2015 when industry/mines/smelters get back to work is a thumbsuck guess.
    Come winter in June, July, August and demand peaks??, Well it’s probably really gonna be that FINAL COUNTDOWN and the Olduvai Theory will be seen to be proven RIGHT.

  • Spud Coolzip says:

    A few random observations:

    The governments and municipalities which have enough money to replace old lighting (which certainly isn’t all of them) have been buying more efficient lights, which generally means ones which direct more of the light to where it’s needed on top of using less power. OTOH, a place which goes really dim or totally black definitely tells its own story. Nighttime lighting is only a rough proxy for energy consumption and economic health.

    Lots of heavy industry has moved to China and other low wage / soft regulations places. What has stayed behind in many of the northern countries has become far more energy-efficient. Companies which have built new facilities in the low-cost locales have used the move to install more efficient equipment in the process. Your typical modern cast iron engine block (or vinyl squeaky toy, for that matter) probably contains far less embodied energy that the one you bought made in the now-shuttered factory in Ohio in 1979.

    Besides the loss of depth in Lake Mead causing a decrease in generator output, water is vital to nearly all centralized power generation for cooling. Even if it remains available for that purpose, the temperature of that water is also very important as power plants are designed to operate with cooling water at a maximum intake temperature. During a particularly hot summer in France a few years ago, several nukes had to shut down because rivers were running dry. A nuke plant in CT shut down in 2012 because the water in Long Island Sound was too warm while one in IL had a similar problem when its cooling pond got too warm. I think we’ll see a lot more of this happening in the coming years. I’m not familiar with how most coal and nuke plants out west are cooled, but the ones that depend on rivers may be shit-outta-luck if that part of the world keeps drying up.

  • MH says:

    The issue of an energy constrained future with respect to electrical supply to societies everywhere is a significant and serious issue and it is timely to look more carefully at the issue of electrical supply in a changing climate. This is the second such study raising alarm bells, the American Society of Electrical Engineers and similar have been attempting to get this message across for some time. The news or the conclusions have been met with the same response as for those relating to climate change and the risk of biosphere collapse., words of assurance but no action or policy changes anywhere other than the great lightbulb fiasco or moving from incandescents to LED and CFL lights to reduce energy consumption and hence allow supply to me maintained at current levels. Again the critical issue is the tyranny of exponential growth and the lack of understand of the meaning of the math of quantitative doubling.

    Climate change will impact the ability of supply to be provided via hydro-generation through less water. Supply could be constrained or reduced by agreement to limit the use of fossil fuels, output would have to be capped to curb CO2 emissions, which would constrain supply. Elevated and increasing temperatures will reduce supply by technical failure of poles, wires or distribution and network control systems.

    Resource depletion will constrain and limit supply and may either provide no growth capacity and then rapdily provide insufficient raw stock to produce more electrical supply, the Seneca curve.

    Theref0re growth is no longer possible except in a short run situation and substitution of energy stock sources (a new source of energy) is no longer possible, why because it does not matter what we think technology may or may not do the basic physical process of burning something, to heat water and or create the mechanical motion need to generate an electrical field via a Generator unit.

    Our technology and lifestyle habits that require electrically powered devices have been multiplying for some time as has the raw populations numbers that use such devices. The more advanced economies become the more they adopt machinery that requires electrical power. Any attempts at energy efficiency increases or attempts to reduce total quantities supplied are always negated by Jevons paradox. More is used instead.

    There is also an unstated paradox about the use of electrical systems per se, as the laws of thermodynamics make clear, once you have a system that uses energy, you have to keep using it, you cannot make more than you have, you always have energy losses and you cannot stop using energy.

    So even if we assume therefore that changes will not be made to reduce energy consumption in the interests of a habitable planet they we can expect to move down the Seneca curve very rapidly nontheless as energy stocks or raw resources are depleted. Critical subdependencies are; the major support systems that rely on electricity and they are not transportation as we think of it but the big users are water pumping and transfer to cities and regions and the movement and removal of human and industrial waste products AND the critical manipulation and operation of the electrical grid and electrical networks with random and supply failure losses throughout that network, keeping power on and the contagion of input losses is unproven and problematic and may not be possible as supply losses may actually generate cascading losses of supply.

    Finally, solar wont do it and cant do it other than on an individual or very small unit basis, who will have the capital, technical knowhow and time to do this is very uncertain.

    I think it is important to remember a number of givens will evaporate within the space of 70 years, namely unless systems are used continually, training and education is provided continually and generationally, then skills and technology knowledge and hence capacity will be lost very rapidly. It took thousands of years for modern societies and systems to reinvent a large number of technological fixes that were lost with the collapse of the Roman Empire (Think plumbing, concreting, and medical skills and equipment).

    Finally remember it was only three hundred years ago, and city and town was dark at night and any light was limited to what could be generated by a candle, fire or oil lamp, people went to be early and work stopped at night, it was called medieval and that is precisely where we are headed for all the reasons I have added above.

  • Robert Callaghan says:


    Money used to be metal coins, now money is storage of metallic-mineral pulses. If you are confused by money, metal and climate, then try to think in terms of the mass of all the metals, minerals and elements — energy demand doubles by 2060 — emissions need to drop 80% by 2030 — peak minerals and peak energy hits at the same time we want to produce billions of tons or toxic lead, liquid metal or molten salt batteries — we can’t have hi-tech green energy without heavy rare earth elements and we can’t have heavy rare earth elements without digging up thorium as a radioactive waste — the only solution is get emissions free power from plentiful thorium so we can create a better hi-tech green energy world — this is important because we are approaching post-peak minerals where we would be unable to afford large enough scales in mining, which even alone can entail collapse. The peak is a short time of several plus years.

    ► Humans and livestock were 0.01% of land vertebrate biomass 10,000 yrs. ago.
    ► Humans and our livestock are now 97% of land vertebrate biomass.
    ► ►Humans and our livestock eat over 40% of land chlorophyll biomass.►►
    ► When we eat over half of nature’s green stuff, bad things happen to bio-diversity.
    ► 1,000,000 humans, net, are added to earth every 4½ days.
    ► 50% of vertebrate species died off in the last 50 years.
    ► 50% of remaining vertebrate species will die off in the next 40 years.
    ► +50% = Unstoppable Irreversible Catastrophic Cascading Extinctions Collapse.
    ► 75% Species Loss = Mass Extinction.
    ► Ocean acidification doubles by 2050, triples by 2100.
    ►►World Bank says we have 5-10 years before we all fight for food and water.►►

    ► 90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
    ► 90% of Lions gone since 1993.
    ► 90% of Monarch Butterflies gone since 1995.
    ► 75% of Freshwater & Riverbank Species gone since 1970. **
    ► 50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
    ► 50% of Human Sperm Counts gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Human Sperm Counts gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Fresh Water Fish gone since 1987.
    ► 30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
    ► 28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 93 Elephants killed every single day.
    ► 2-3 Rhinos killed every single day.
    ► Bees die from malnutrition lacking bio-diverse pollen sources.
    ** ► 75,000 dams block U.S. rivers.
    ► In just 13 years, we will “lock in” an inevitable near term 6°C earth temp rise because we continually exceed the worse-case emissions scenario set out back in 2007 says climate scientist, Dr. Michael Jennings.

    ► Energy demands to increase 100% by 2060 says the IEA.
    ► Emissions have to decrease 80% by 2030 says climate scientist, Kevin Anderson.
    ► To power England with 100% solar & wind, requires 25% of its land says physicist, David MacKay in 2012. Even with improvements, It’s still a lot of land.
    ► 40% Green Energy requires 200% more copper says John Timmer of Ars Technica.
    ► Peak copper hits 2030 – 2040 says Ugo Bardi.
    ► Post peak copper production cannot accelerate at any price says Dave Lowell.
    ► This is true of any post peak mineral production.
    ► There is no real substitute for copper says Mat McDermott of Motherboard.
    ► We mined 50% of all the copper in human history in just the last 30 years.
    ► 100% green energy requires 500% more copper.
    ► Peak minerals includes more than just copper.
    ► By 2050, expect to be past peaks for tin, silver, cadmium and more.
    ► We move some 3 billion tons of earth per year to get 15 millions tons of copper.
    ► We can’t afford to mine 500% more copper at ever lower concentrations.
    ► We cannot recycle it into existence.
    ► We cannot conserve it into existence.
    ► Substituting aluminum for copper takes 5X the energy and is less safe.
    ► Google’s own Stanford Phd, green energy experts, Ross Koningstein and David Fork, tell IEEE Spectrum why green energy “simply won’t work” and is a “false dream”.
    ► Ozzie Zehner explains his book, Green Illusions, at Google Talks in 2012.

    ► Green Energy is our solution to Climate Change.
    ► But, Climate Change is only 1 of 6 Direct Drivers for Mass Extinction.
    ► The 6 Direct Drivers of Mass Extinction are:
    … 1) Invasive Species
    … 2) Over-Population
    … 3) Over-Exploitation
    … 4) Habitat Loss
    ….5) Climate Change
    ….6) Pollution

    ► Therefore,… GREEN ENERGY WILL NOT STOP MASS EXTINCTION–Facing-the-Mass-Extinction

    ► Tim Garrett explains why money can’t decouple from carbon emissions growth, and how economic growth makes the world hot, as well as how efficiency and conservation only results in more growth.

    ABOUT ME: My name is Robert Callaghan.
    I am a highly uncredentialed 56-year-old lawn-boy mower in a trailer park in Canada, the reason i know all this is because i woke up hungover with my dog licking my face using mental telepathy to explain that space aliens want to use him to tell to me to tell you that we only got one shot left and it has to be a bullseye.

    Here are some of the typical “liberal” reactions to what my dog is saying.
    Quit Barking Up The Wrong Tree?… No-o-o, Seriously!
    These reactions do not differ from FOX NEWS tactics.
    ► J’Accuse! Oil Troll! Nuclear Troll! etc.
    ►”Your information is inaccurate and outdated”, this may be, but most exciting “new” discoveries never make it to production, and old methods of production do not stop because they are merely somewhat outdated and post-peak minerals affects everything.
    ► Misdirect focus on just one or two points to the exclusion of the b-i-g picture.
    ► Focus attention on my character and motives instead of the facts. That doesn’t work because I am a low-life mangy cur who just doesn’t give a damn. LMAO!
    ► Attack the facts.

  • Robert Callaghan says:

    there is never one peak, they usually form a head and shoulder pattern.
    if you stare at charts a lot you see everything hockey sticks around 1950.
    me and my wife watched doomsday preppers last night
    each prepper was highly opinionated about what the cause is gonna be
    but, each prepper had hot tips for the practical
    food storage quickly spirals out of expense and management control
    you have to have practical plans and prepped way-stations for your goals.

  • Robert Callaghan says:

    you’ll notice that 75% of river life is gone in some 50 years
    well, 50 years ago we were near the peak of building 75,000 dams in america
    it started with the hoover as “green” energy to liberate us from coal

    In, “Years Of Living Dangerously” we learned the Indonesian mafia
    killed all the elephants in a nature preservation park just to get rid of the need for a park.
    these guys clear cuts trees, plant palm-oil trees, and ad to gasoline in Europe
    they make money selling wood, collecting tax carbon credits and selling the palm-oil to burn in cars.

    In, “Virunga” on Netflix, we learned the Congolese mineral mafia is killing off the last Mountain Gorillas
    so that the need for a national park will cease to exist. Cell phones don’t run on love, you can ask the
    2 million children murdered there since 1998, or the 1 million Iraqi children our oil embargo killed in the 1990s.
    people may think me misanthropic, but that’s not true, some of my best friends are people.

  • Jb says:

    RE: Haven’t had time to read the post yet, but great interview! Thanks

  • Robert Callaghan says:

    money will be the shortage of electronic pulses
    that’s when the man gets pîssed

  • MH says:

    Here is a dining challenge, I put this to a bunch of friends at a dinner the other night, if the power went off in our town today and stayed off, what would work in your house? No TV, no I-whatsy, no fridge, no washing machine, no iron, no kettle, no lights, no alarms, no power tools or their chargers, no battery chargers, no coolers, no fans and no airconditioning. Nobody even people I thought were more savvy could actually comprehend or come up with a viable plan to manage this or deal with it, ditto for most about in your neighbourhood.

    Because we live off grid and have done for over 7 years we/I very clearly understand the tyranny of energy, so we can have batteries (via solar) and when that drops off we can run a generator but only for so long. The other thing people miss is the huge amounts of electricity and power they actually consume, the average modern house or home can required anything up to 20 kilowatts (KW) of power generated and provided instantly and everyone is trapped because there is no substitute for this form of energy execpt to abandon the machine that requires it and get used to reading a book and living with a candle and burning wood to heat water or cook. Oh and you would have to write a letter to communicate, that would be novel, but who is going to deliver it for you and how? Now there is a whole bunch of skills that is lost to probably about 50% of the worlds population.

    To my mind that is the reality of what we face and the power thing is even more critical than the drop off in oil over time, or us boiling in our skins over time, nope nothing can or will work without power.

    And if somebody got a bit antsy and decided to use a thermonuclear device or two and generate a few key EMP’s nothing would work again ever. Given the rhetoric coming out of the American capital about the commies in Russia and China, all bets are off MAD is dead, strike first is the go. Great world we have now is it not?

    Too late for mass politicisation and education for change, change is going to arrive tragically and brutally. Just prepare for it as best you can.

  • MH says:

    Preparation what can you do? With the indulgence of RE and other doomers, I would like to say that for us as a couple off-grid the greatest challenge we have faced is making a life without reliable and available on tap power.

    First, tThe mental transistion is formidable and very uncomfortable and at times the frustration is acute,

    Secondly, because you have to find an alternative or substitute for a machine that used power of some sort and for a lot of chores about the place that substitute is your own physical labour there is no magic wand. Try cutting wood with an axe and a log splitter, try carting water, try using a shovel for hours.

    For thousands of years that’s how it was for nearly everybod except for a small elite, a life that was brutal, short and hard. The labour model was used on a grand scale by the Romans, they pillaged everyone they could but critically they ran the whole thing on slave labour pure and simple, they threw man power at the problem and in the end reach the boundaries of what was possible on a geographical scale, and what was that scale, about 1 million people in the city of Rome and the control and enforced repatriation of any good you can think of from any land and country about the Mediteranean sea and most of Europe but in the end that could not be sustained either due to the EROI issue and they fell apart because they could no longer control it by force.

    So the future is a Jim Kunstler so neatly describes as a ‘world made by hand’ but as Dimitri O has pointed out only gangs and violent cartels or groups operate in a collapsing social system that is severely resource constrained.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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