This week’s Top 5 is from energy-savvy long-time interest.co.nz commenter Murray Grimwood, aka Power Down Kiwi.
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Being a long-time visitor hereabouts, I decided to offer the old-fashioned 10, the way it was before marketplace rationalities reduced it to 5. So they’re half price each – a bargain.
What we call ‘the economy’, is actually a sub-set of a linear energy/materials flow. We miss this by choosing to account using a formula which calls things ‘externalities’. Here’s Dr Susan Krumdiek, nailing the problem. If you only watch one thing in the list, this is the one to go for (especially if you work for Treasury or the RBNZ). I was the weak link in a debating team with her about a decade ago – we’re going to need engineers like her (see 9 below for an amazing other) as we effect the biggest change the human race has attempted.
Here’s a cogent version from slightly earlier: The only beef I have with it, is the assumption that oil will get ever-more expensive. I thought that once (so did Goldman Sachs) but I now realise that forward Capex repayment is dependent on future net-energy availability, meaning there’s a price beyond which recession is inevitable. Rinse and repeat – until you’re out of powder.
It’s not as if the message is new. This fellow was my mentor during the years I spent soaking information out of Otago Uni. Enough information-soaking, in the end, to de-bunk some of what is taught – and implied - there. In wondering why, I came to the conclusion that commodification of knowledge and siloing of disciplines, were the main culprits.
Not everybody ‘gets it’ all. Here’s a common style, where the assumption is that we can maintain First-World lifestyles if we only (a) divest ourselves of fossil fuels and (b) ‘invest’ in renewable energy. Yes, we will end up on renewables by default, but they won’t power the ‘economy’ we’ve come to expect.
Here’s an example of what siloing does to thinking. This brain is clearly superior to mine, but has she contemplated population as a problem? Or energy/resource depletion? Or read Catton’s ‘Overshoot’?
Compare that to this. We should all feel slightly sheepish – I reckon that if she hasn’t yet learned about the contents of 1, 2 and 3 above, she’d get it in five minutes flat, and be able to explain it to the General Assembly two minutes later.
Equally as eloquent, indeed one of the better wordsmiths on the planet. Imagine this fellow and Greta on a debating-team! His take on the MSM Trump/Russia witch-hunt is thought-provoking (see his earlier blog-posts). For those who haven’t read his stuff, his book ‘The Long Emergency’ is one of my all-time favourites, well worth the download.
Unsafe at any height? Here’s Ralph Nader in vintage form, castigating Boeing. Assuming he’s correctly informed, we can expect the odd grounding. The bigger question is whether complexity, when pushed too far, reduces resilience?
Here’s another of those engineers we will need, just getting on with pushing the boundaries. I met her and Killajoule - 80% of which she built herself - a few years back. And came away feeling distinctly pedestrian. A visit to her site shows she’s not resting on her laurels.
It ain’t often that a cover outshines an inspired original, but I reckon these two go close, covering Led Zep. Oldies will remember them as ‘Heart’, and a song called ‘Magic Man’.