Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

This article initially appeared on Nov 19, 2014 and was only available to Peak Prosperity's enrolled users. Many of them thought it important enough that it should be made available to the general public, which we are now doing here.

At the essential center of the framework of the Crash Course is the almost insultingly simple idea that endless growth on a finite planet is an impossibility.

It is so simple it could be worked out by a clever 4 year-old. And yet it must not be so simple because the main narrative of every economy in every corner of the globe rests on the idea of endless, infinite growth.

Various rationalizations and mental dodges are made in people’s minds to accommodate the principle of endless growth.  Some avoid thinking of it all together.  Some think that perhaps we will escape into space, and continue our growthful ways on some other yet-to-be named planet(s).  Most simply assume that some new wondrous technology will arise that can allow us to avoid pesky limits.

Whatever the rationalization, none stand up well to simple math and cold logic.

At the very heart of endless growth lies the matter of energy.  To grow forever requires infinite amounts of energy.  Growth and energy are linked in a causal way.

If you want mountains to grow higher you need tectonic forces to push them there.  If you want a child to grow taller, food energy is absolutely required.  If you want more people building more houses, driving more cars, and wearing more clothes, you need energy, energy and more energy.

Perhaps because long-term thinking is not one of humanity’s greatest gifts, very few can appreciate just how we’ve fashioned an entire economy and related set of belief systems around fossil fuel energy that has only been with us for a scant few hundred years.

Even more importantly, because we are consuming a few percent more of it with every passing year, 75% of all fossil fuel energy has been consumed in just the past 50 years.  And we’ve been burning coal and drilling for oil for well over 150 years…boy, those stadiums fill up quick towards the end, don’t they?

The mistake is to think that those past 50 years are just the new normal and the even bigger mistake is to overlook the central and essential role of fossil fuel energy in creating the world we see around us.

The Dissipating Organism

Forget everything we know about technology and oil and gas and coal and all the rest.  Set that aside and step over into the role of being a dispassionate observer from another planet.

As you look upon all the life forms on earth and classify each according to it’s main role – predator, prey, scavenger, parasite, and so on – what role would you assign to humans?

To perform this classification you would observe, very carefully, the main activities of each species to see what they spent that majority of their time doing.

As you watch from a great height you’d notice humans moving about, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in a great flurry of activity.  From a strictly biological and scientific perspective they seem to be doing one thing with the most focused and determined energy; they are taking concentrated forms of energy and naturally occurring elements and dispersing them at vastly less concentrated levels.

Humans may have other features and functions, but their primary one is 'dispersal agent.'

Oils and coal and natural gas are dispersed as waste heat.  Silver is mined, refined further, and then lost atom by atom in various innumerable processes.  Rich soils with thousands of years of carefully accumulated major and minor minerals are mined one crop at a time and then irrecoverably diluted into the seas.

Taken together, the main purpose of humans seems to be as dispersal agents as if Gaia and decided enough was enough and it needed a species to come along and widely scatter all these concentrated pockets of energy and minerals so that the process of concentration could begin anew.

As I view any of the hundreds of beautiful videos on Vimeo showing time-lapse traffic patterns from cities around the world,  I cannot avoid seeing them as elegant expressions of a species seemingly intent on turning fossil fuels into waste heat an carbon dioxide as fast as they possibly can.


Downtown Las Vegas strip traffic time-lapse from on Vimeo.

24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in every major city around the world, there are cars and trucks jamming the roads.  There is no 'night-time' in this story when the world completely rests.  One side takes a few hours off while the other side takes over.

Whether we call this progress or folly is merely an indication of which internal belief system we happen to have installed.  Let’s pretend the value judgment is an irrelevant distraction to the main point.  It doesn’t matter at all how we judge the situation. 

The main point is that 80% of all human economic, political and cultural organization, specialization, and even collective biomass are simply expressions of energy consumption.  Whether that’s folly or progress does not alter the fact that currently 7.2 billion humans exist in the arrangements they do because of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels provide 80% of all our current energy.  That's a whopping high percentage and the hundreds of quadrillions of BTUs represented by that number will not be easily or cheaply replaced by any combination of alternative energies that we currently could deploy.   In fact, there are exactly zero credible plans for completely replacing fossil fuels to be found anywhere in the world.  Everybody has the same plan; continue obtaining the majority of their energy needs from fossil fuels while growing their economies.

That’s the plan and if it does not make you uncomfortable on some level, then I would gently suggest that some more time ought to be spent studying energy’s role in supporting life, and especially complex arrangements of life.

The Race

If there’s a dominant belief system installed across the developed world it is a faith in technology.

Some of that is very well placed faith.  Technology has delivered incredible advances, efficiencies and understandings that just a few short decades ago would have been indistinguishable from magic. 

We are making advances all the time, and for as long as we have a complex society that can support advanced technology we will continue making advances.

There are, however, a few keys to understanding how and when we have misplaced faith in technology. 

One key point lost on many people is that technology cannot create energy.  It can only transform it.  Perhaps we’ll someday be surprised by a breakthrough in low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) or zero-point energy or some other fantastical breakthrough, but until then we have to go with what we know to be true.

Technology has not yet, ever, in the long history of humans, created energy.  The laws of thermodynamics rule over us like gravity itself, always there exerting and imposing their all-encompassing embrace on every energy transaction.

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed.  Oil (concentrated) becomes waste heat (diffuse) + work (if harnessed).

So that’s the first limitation of technology….it cannot create the hundreds of quadrillions of BTUs of energy we currently extract and need from fossil fuels.  It can help us use it more efficiently, find more of it, get it out more cheaply, and other fun things, but it does not create the energy.

The second key point is that technology is really only as useful as the culture is advanced.  There are obvious signs that our cleverness with inventing technology exceeds our cultural maturity to use it wisely.

GPS is one of the greatest inventions ever, and I love it and use it constantly.   I doubt I would visit twisty, uninuitively laid out Boston nearly as confidently or as often without GPS.

But it also allowed fishing trawlers to steam out 100 miles and drop their massive and destructive drag nets precisely 6 inches to the side of where they left off last week leaving no accidental hiding spots and fisheries were ruined.

That is, the technology allowed us to do things that we lacked the ability to self-regulate properly.  It also has routinely had many more unanticipated consequences than we seemed to appreciate. 

The first humans with concentrated radioactive substances were about as safe as monkeys with guns.  We learned, but that came after the accidental deaths.

As I see it, nearly all of the difficulties we have with technology are due to the fact that we push technology into service before we really appreciate all of its pros and cons. 

It has been said that most technology was designed to address the problems caused by prior technology, and there’s some truth to that.

I am often asked if I would be thrilled if humans did get their hands on unlimited clean energy, and I have to give an unequivocal ‘no’ at this point because it seems to me that we’d merely use it to continue on our present path of growth at any cost.

Maybe in the future once we have the cultural ability to self-regulate our seemingly insatiable desire for ‘more’ endless clean energy would be a fantastic thing.  But right now we don’t even know how to slow down a fishery before it completely collapses, which is a trivial thing compared to managing to live in balance with entire ecosystems.

The race, then is between technological development, cultural advancement, and declining resources.  Can we bring appropriate technologies on line fast enough to prevent the loss of the societal complexity required to support that same technology?

That is the question, and I’m not clear on the answer yet. 

I do note that we have the capability to build light, high-mileage vehicles but we cling to the large, heavy and fuel inefficient vehicles in many parts of the world.

We have the capability to heat nearly all of our water using the sun but instead we typically use fossil fuels.  Not because they are cheaper over any reasonable frame of time, but simply  we don’t yet do it differently.

That is, we lack the cultural awareness and urgency that would mandate solar hot water heaters.  We do this because we still have a narrative of technological prowess and the recent (and temporary) shale oil victory to comfort our core beliefs.

There are literally thousands of better technologies out there that make economic, energy and ecological sense but we don’t really use them except at the margins.

Faced with this observation the usual response is to say that ‘the market will take care of that’ implying both that the market is a rational place and that the market has enough time to work things out.

To my mind, neither assumption is correct.

The Looming Oil Crunch

The good news is that shale oil has bought us some time in the peak oil story, but the less good news is that it bought us no time in the Peak Cheap Oil story.

The best news for the Peak Oil story was an unprecedented decline in oil demand brought about by the twin conditions of too much debt and high oil prices.  The loss of demand in Europe and the US handily outpaced the gains in US shale production and therefore was the larger contributor to balancing the supply/demand equation.

Again, we do not beat the allegedly dead horse of Peak Oil because we cannot let go of an idea, but because it remains just as vital today as when it was first described back in the 1990’s.  Even more so because we have more data to work with and we are that many years closer to its eventual arrival.  Adding to the urgency is the fact that no major government besides Sweden’s has even uttered the phrase ‘peak oil’ let alone begun to publicly plan for its eventual arrival.

There are a number of combining forces that will cause future oil price spikes. 

The current price of oil at under $80 per barrel for Brent crude is insufficient to support any of the newest unconventional projects out there. 

Ultra deepwater, tar sands and all but the very best sweet spots in the very best shale plays are uneconomic at current oil prices.  The way we can detect that this is true is by the slashing of capital budgets in all the oil majors that are committed to these projects, something that began last February even when oil was some $30 per barrel higher.

With shale oil helping to contribute to today’s lower oil prices it has caused the cessation of development within countless other large and expensive oil projects. 

While not immediate, the loss of these projects will certain constrain future oil supplies 2-3 years down the line.

For every single oil exporting country with the sole exception of Russia,  what is also true is that their domestic demand is rising even as their production (in many cases) is falling. 

Rising demand and falling production provide a double squeeze on exports which are, after all, the only thing that oil importing nations really care about.  Who cares how much the world is producing?  All that matters to an importer is how much is for sale, and at what price?

On the demand side, oil demand growth continues in the developing world and Asian countries.  So much so that it’s possible to project a time in the future when China and India alone will import 100% of all available exported oil.

Obviously that won’t happen without some form of price war or shooting war, but it tells us something about the trajectory we are on.  If it looks, feels and smells like there’s no serious planning for the future, then that’s probably the case.

Recently the International Energy Agency put these same sorts of dots together an issued a warning:

U.S. Shale Boom Masks Threats to World Oil Supply, IEA Says

Nov 1, 2014

The U.S. shale boom masks threats to global oil supply including Middle East turmoil, conflict in Ukraine and the difficulty of unconventional oil production beyond North America, the International Energy Agency said.

“The global energy system is in danger of falling short of the hopes and expectations placed upon it,” the IEA said today in its annual World Energy Outlook. “The short-term picture of a well-supplied oil market should not disguise the challenges that lie ahead as reliance grows on a relatively small number of producers.”

Global oil consumption will rise to 104 million barrels a day in 2040 from 90 million barrels a day in 2013, driven by demand for transport fuel and petrochemicals in developing countries, the report said.

To meet that growth and replace exhausted fields will require about $900 billion a year in investment by the 2030s as oil companies develop fields from Canada’s oil sands to the deep waters off Brazil, the IEA said.


There’s a lot to unpack in those statements from the IEA, so let’s begin with the punchline...the IEA has only projected world demand for oil to grow from 90 million barrels per day (mbd) to 104 over the next 27 years.

That’s a rate of growth of just 0.5% per year!

Never in modern economic world history has there been a period of low oil growth of such length.  Never.  My prediction is that if we did only achieve that 0.5% rate of oil growth the world economy would be in a shambles long before 2040.

Economic growth requires energy, oil specifically and high net energy oil even more specifically.

This brings us to point number two.  The IEA has projected that some $900 billion a year will be required to bring on enough incremental (expensive) oil to even achieve that paltry rate of 0.5% growth.

Let’s really look at that for a moment, shall we?  If it’s going to take $900 billion to deliver what pencils out to an additional 483,000 barrels per day of oil growth, that means the yearly incremental new flow to the world will be 176 million barrels (= 365 * 483,000). 

Hmmmm…but at $900 billion that means the world will effectively be investing $900 billion more but getting 176 million new barrels so those incremental barrels are costing some $5,100 each. 

I know this is an odd way to look at it because in reality the $900 billion will be bringing vastly more oil to the table than the 176 M barrels, but existing oil is declining at the same time so the net oil to the world is going to cost a huge amount compared to historical efforts.

The bottom line here is that when the IEA casts about and looks at the reality of oil projects across the world they see that only a very heavy and sustained program of investment approaching one trillion dollars a year has any chance of (barely) offsetting existing declines.

And that new oil, excepting only whatever Iraq and Iran have left to bring to the party, is vastly more expensive than in times past.

Which brings us to the IEA's  conclusion which is that shale oil is actually doing two things;  driving the price of oil down below the price required for this massive investment program, and masking the supply issues by temporarily providing extra oil.

Emphasis on ‘temporary’ because the average shale field in the US peaks about ten years after the drilling begins in earnest and all US shale fields are currently projected to peak somewhere around 2020.

The risk the IEA sees is that shale oil, coupled to a generally weak global economy, could conspire to keep oil prices down below the new project threshold long enough to cause real trouble in the future.

My personal bottom line, though, is that the $900 billion yearly oil spent to achieve an underwhelming 0.5% yearly supply increase is not going to provide the necessary economic growth required to justify the mountains of debt already on the books, let alone expanding that pile robustly as the financial sector seems to need.

More subtly, but even more importantly, the new oil that $900 billion will bring is lower net energy oil, the sort that has far less surplus contained within it that the world can use to maintain its current complexity and order.

Think of current oil as having 100 arbitrary units of net energy stored within it that society can use however it wishes.  Then imagine that the new oil only has 50 units of net energy in it.  As we blend ever-increasing amounts of ‘50’ oil with ever-shrinking quantities of ‘100’ oil, the amount of net energy steadily sinks towards the ‘50’ mark. 

One day people wake up and notice that they seem to be able to support less, accomplish less, and that fewer types of jobs that pay less are available.  This is what we’d expect to see in a world of declining net energy. 


If technology requires a complex society to build and maintain it, and our dreams and hopes are pinned on even more complex and useful technology in the future, but net energy from new oil plays is shrinking, then it might not be wise to pin all our hopes on technology.  Perhaps there should be some other plans in the works too.

Given sufficient energy sources I am convinced that technology would simply continue to advance, and eventually our ability to live with and manage it would catch up to the technology.

But I imagine that process taking decades, centuries even, because cultures change slowly. 

However, according to the best oil data available, we don’t have decades and centuries to fiddle about and hope. 

The US shale plays are going to peak in 2020, give or take a year or two, and that’s practically tomorrow in the grand scheme of things.  Other relentless declines in existing fields are continuing even as you read this.

24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  And that process is speeding up, not slowing down, as the developed world joins the fray with stunning quickness.

A lot of things could go wrong with the IEA forecasts, and they’ll certainly get some things wrong.  It’s the nature of the business. 

Demand could be higher than 0.5% per year and so supplies will either fall short of investments or prices will need to go higher to support even higher spending on oil exploration and development.  Future finds may be less robust than they imagine and therefore more expensive. Existing fields may decline faster or slower than they have modeled which will throw things off quite a bit.

But through all that uncertainty we can note the obvious trend; oil is getting harder to find and more expensive to produce.

And humans, being the dissipating agents we are, will continue to gobble up this magical substance with relentless focus every minute of every day until it is gone.

All of this is why I continue to regret the degree to which the western media has gone out of its way to portray the energy predicament as nothing more than a problem which can be easily addressed through a program of investment and being ever-more clever.

Instead I wish we could simply note that oil has no scalable substitutes, we support billions of people by growing food with it, and that every political, financial, portfolio, and institutional entity has the same underlying assumption; the next twenty years are going to be exactly like the past twenty years.

Somehow, magically, more oil will be there, it will be affordable, and nobody will have to make any adjustments to their main habits of spending more than they have, and consuming more next year than this year.  We can just keep borrowing more than we earn forever, and therefore current stock and bond markets are reasonably priced.

To a scientist like myself, the energy story is everything.  If you get that, you are armed with the information you need to understand the general direction of things.

The only thing we don’t know is what our respective cultures will choose to preserve as we are forced to jettison various unproductive habits and livelihoods. 

As I wrote in a recent comment on the thread on millennials being broke:

As we slip down the energy cliff, we cannot know exactly what each culture will decide to jettison as 'unnecessary' activities.  Some decided to cut down trees and erect giant stones right to the end.  A different culture would have chosen some other activity.

The question to ask is, what are our equivalents of giant stones?  What will *not* disappear as the green area shrinks?

My best guess is that we'll cling to technology as the last things to erect before we succumb to reality.  Maybe that's just talking my own book, as they say on Wall Street, because that would imply the internet will be salvaged/preserved at any and every cost.

So that’s the question before us, what are our ‘giant stones?’  Answer that and you’ll know which jobs, investments, and products will be relatively secure and which won’t.

~ Chris Martenson

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

For anybody experiencing deja vu, this was article was in the insider area but several members thought it belonged out here in public, so here it is.
As always, the big picture is the one that we should keep in sharp focus, difficult though that task is given how life fills up our time one small thing by one small thing.

At any rate, enjoy!

And Happy New Year everyone!!

I'll consider this a late Christmas gift, a thoroughly appreciated one at that.

Thanks Chris and happy new year. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be quite interesting…

My best guess is that we'll cling to technology as the last things to erect before we succumb to reality.  Maybe that's just talking my own book, as they say on Wall Street, because that would imply the internet will be salvaged/preserved at any and every cost.
Six or seven years ago I read an article that eventually led me to this site and my current viewpoint. It was the very first such article I recall and was titled something like  'As long as we keep the internet we'll be ok'. Of course my immediate reaction was 'This is absurd! What combination of factors could possibly result in us loosing the internet?' Like many here I now hold opinions that I would have thought completely insane a decade ago.

I do agree with Chris that the internet will be defended and preserved at any and every cost… and I agree also that eventually we'll succumb to reality. The complexity that underlies the internet is mind boggling. I recently discovered  the word hypercoherence which refers to myriad tight linkage connections through economic, communications, transport systems etc. 

From crash course basics we know that less net energy will lead to much less complexity in our world. And it's pretty hard to argue with the 2nd law of thermodynamics. So at some point, despite the best efforts of The Powers That Be hypercoherence will falter and infrastructure will crumble to the point where the internet is unable to be supported.

Reading this post feels like I've gone full circle from the initial article that set me on this path - or perhaps more accurately half circle - as my perspective is opposite what it once was.

Humans= Agents of Entropy
Maybe I'll make myself a T-shirt.  Future generations will not be able to comprehend how we squandered such marvelous gifts.

Thanks Chris,great article.Happy New Year to all at PP.

There are a couple holes in my understanding of the world's oil future:

  1.  We only seem to hear about fracking/shale plays in N. America.  Surely there are potential shale plays around the world.  Are they being fracked and horizontally drilled?  If not, they certainly will when they become economically viable.   They would presumably go through the same drilling frenzy and rapid decline rates that are happening in NA.  That would seemingly to lead to rolling peaks that could last for the rest of the century since oil particularly is a global commodity.  Has there been much study of this?

  2.  With low oil prices, as Chris points out, only the sweetest of sweet spots are going to be drilled until prices go back up.  As far as I can tell, predictions of when that will happen are highly speculative.  But, assuming low prices last a couple years, the sweetest of the sweet will be in rapid decline, leaving only the less desirable plays and locations within the plays.  In the meantime, production will be declining overall in shale plays if my understanding is correct.  In order to maintain or increase production to current levels at that point would appear to require drilling of the less productive sites on a scale far greater than recent "peak" drilling rates.  How does that figure into the shale story?  Will there even be enough rigs available for greatly increased drilling?

  3.  And also, a question I've thought about some, in a world of net decreasing oil supplies, how are uses of oil to be prioritized?  You discussed the internet to some extent, but how would that stack up against, say, the interstate highway system which is really oil intensive and really necessary to our way of life?  Or how about the aviation industry or plastics or factory farms or shipping?  Our lives could be very different if any of those examples are cut back significantly.

Doug, my thoughts on your first question are that the "shale" plays aren't really profitable even at $100 and seem to be merely a result of Wall Street ponzi financing. This is underlain by a very poor EROEI no matter how you slice it. As mentioned in a different article here, the abuse to N Dakota's infrastructure from all the trucks needed to move it all around isn't accounted for in the price and is not taxed, so that is a subsidy. I wonder if accounting for all the infrastructure spending needed to support such activity would send the EROEI of "shale" oil negative. This is why we aren't seeing such a frenzy in other countries, because they don't have the Wall Street ponzi scheme backing it like in N America, and hopefully those jurisdictions would be more prone to tax the oil companies to pay for infrastructure wear and tear, which would make the whole thing totally unprofitable – at $100 or $300.Another issue that I see as a big wild card is coal. Oil and gas we all have a pretty good handle on. Oil is obviously near peak, gas will clearly decline soon, but no one seems to know much about coal. We hear arguments that the remaining coal seams are thin and deep, making it expensive with a poor EROEI. But I wonder, I pointed out in another thread the other day that Alberta says it has almost 700 billion tons of ultimately recoverable coal reserves, and presumably a large portion of that would be reasonably well recoverable. BC also has lots. That is enough to power N America for centuries. Based on my experience in designing some of these mines, the costs aren't related to how difficult it is to mine the stuff, but simply how much the mining equipment costs. Entire mountains are slated for removal up there.
If so then this could allow humanity to stumble along for quite a while. If social cohesion could be maintained then coal to liquids and gas plants could be built to provide oil and gas, just like Germany did in WW2 I believe. Of course net energy would go down but it would still be positive, as the Nazis proved. As to why this isn't being done now, I guess it's a combination of the oil price not being high enough for long enough, plus there is no established industry to bring forth these plants. Maybe it will happen soon. Everyone is focusing on oil sands right now but that is a slow process and in the scheme of things not even that big, equivalent to only 10 years of global oil consumption or 50 years of N America consumption.

Tesla is releasing electric cars with 400 mile plus range. Installed solar capacity is growing at exponential rates. Batteries, solar and smart control technology for solutions like demand response are dropping in price at incredible rates. Perhaps we don't need radically new energy production technology, but just need to get wasteful institutions like utilities re-conceived and reconfigured and investment incentives in our society re-prioritized.
Hopefully we will get our political priorities straight while there is still plenty of fossil fuel around for those things fossil fuels are really critical for, while we transition 90% of our energy needs for heat, transport and electricity production to renewables. Yeah, it a little hard when we have such stupid politics. But stories like this one give me some hope that our country can find unity of purpose around sensible priorities and start getting serious about the transition:
Happy new year all



$64,000 before tax, title and license for a Telsa that has an advertised range of 208 miles.  The longest range car I saw on their website was 253 miles.  How many people do you think can afford one?  How much oil do you suppose it takes to make a Telsa?Good decisions at this point, plus appropriate technology may help slightly, but we are well past the point where there is an easy, painless solution.  The cars already on the road are not going to disappear.  The new cars on the dealer lots are going to wind up on the road.  Detroit is still cranking out muscle cars, SUVs and pickups for people to commute in.
Not a lot of people drive fuel efficient cars.  What we need is not so much technology, as a change of heart and lifestyles.  When people are embarrassed to drive 15 mpg vehicles, things will change.  I don't see much of that yet.

Come off it guys, Technology is what H.Sap does. It is our forte. Without technology we are there with the other Simians. (Although even they have been to seen to use technology.) . It would be absolutely impossible for us to turn our backs on technology as it would be for a Dodo to give up flying.
It is just a matter of choosing an appropriate technology for the situation at hand

So what are the technologies appropriate for a low energy economy? That is the question that we should be answering. I have chosen a sailboat as an immediate solution.

In the intermediate period I see solar powered airships making a comeback., using plastics dump-mined from eer… dumps. Obviously someone is going to object and say that Airships will not be as fast as jet airliners, but I will leave them to figure that one for themselves. (Please don't embarrass yourselves- reflect before reacting)

In the longer time frame I see a much reduced population. (No surprises there.) In a much less populated world the per-capita income will be higher and I hope that Cold Fusion will allow our descendants to make better choices.

Objection! We will always make poor choices.

Objection! We won't be making the choices- our descendants will. Weren't you paying attention? Mr Darwin or Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's Morphic fields is re-molding Man into something that does not exist.

Objection! That's garbage. Evolution ended when I was born.

No it didn't, sweetie. Think back to the difference between us and Igil Skallagrimson.

Here is a picture of him. (Visit the site- there is a lot of Igil's poetry there. He was a good poet.)


Here is a taste.

I flounder by the fireside,

Ask females for mercy,

Bitter the battle

On my brow-plains;

The prince has praised me

With precious gold,

The wild king once

Was tamed by my words.

Time passes tediously,

I tarry here alone

An old, senile elder

With no king to aid me.

I walk on two widows,

Once true women,

Now frosted and feeble,

Needing the old flame.


…and said nothing against it.  I just said it's not our big problem, lifestyles are.  
Technology improvement can help a little, but large scale changing attitudes and lifestyles are what's needed.  As you mentioned, dramatically reduced population will also be required. Another word that is absent from regular use by the MSM, is overshoot.

From what I can see, mankind shows occasional intelligence on an individual level, but as a whole, displays about the same intelligence as an algae bloom.

I would also argue that a lot of what you may consider to be evolution, is largely change in diet.  Meat eating humans generally grow taller than grain eating humans.  I read somewhere, that the average Spanish conqueror was 5' 3" tall.  How less than 300 vertically challenged Spaniards conquered Central America and Peru is beyond me.

Google " A Maryland Inventor's big energy ideas have promise…"    This genius may just confirm Arthur's faith in our technological abilities.

I just reviewed this guy's published patent application and website.  He put a lot of dreams on paper and has not even begun to see if any of them work.  The basic idea from my quick reading seems to be that he gets near perfect energy transfer (to eliminate diffusion-radiation of waste heat) between solid surfaces and a moving liquid, by specially flowing fluid past the solid just right, in a manner to capture waste diffusion.  He mentions the need for "laminar flow" and a very complex situation of confined fluid control surfaces, which he apparently has given no serious thought to the real fluid dynamics, much less any kind of testing.The application has much political type commentary and his website features his supporters, which seem to be mostly or all government politicos.  That may be why his ideas are in the main stream press.  I note that there are MANY small inventors with similarly untested dreams of solving energy that we do not hear about, probably because they have not enjoined politicos and PR before even trying to find out if the ideas can work.  Tesla had some extremely nice ideas for improved efficiency heat to motor (turbine etc) that sound real nice on paper and in theory, but could not be made, even now.  However, they are logical enough and promising enough, I would not count them out indefinitely as engineering catches up with dreaming.  However, I agree with Edison that 99 X times more roll up the sleeves work is required for every dream X.  It seems almost axiomatic in the invention of real things (that actually work) that the successful inventors are always those who spend most all time building their dreams and finding out why they dont work, and then finally discover the real invention by wrestling with reality, instead of with their own dream states…  .The guy who built Honda (and who knows something about inventing machines) famously said "100 times try, 99 times fail" as the way to inventive progress.  Our knowledge of Edison is of a guy who failed MOST of the time because he bothered to find out WHY his ideas are wrong or imperfect.  Such is the stuff of inventions, not to be confused with fantasy writing where perfection is created by proper word choice.
Chris M's last interview had very nice, refreshing reference to the need for facts in any discussion about news.  This phenomenon of making up (or honestly dreaming as this inventor from Maryland seems to be doing) dreams or desires and relying on such without facts (or reality check experimentation which is the hallmark of real science and invention) seems to be a dominant condition of a collapsing post empire America. 
This an important topic to me because the most valuable aspect of the CM blogsite is the respect for and ability of the managers/editor to pay attention to the facts.  (Thank you Adam and Chris)  A website that uses logic and fact basing edit of entries is the most valuable thing on the internet today, for all kinds of news, from politics such as the Ukraine to new unlimited energy inventions.  


I’ve figured out the basic concept how to do it! How to power heat engines off of common, regular, everyday violations of the second law of thermo.
Here’s how it works. Just describe your new patent idea into this here tube… no, you have to maintain a good seal so that the pressure transfers from your lungs to this little device, and from there to the generator…
… it’s free energy, really!

Mots said,

This an important topic to me because the most valuable aspect of the CM blogsite is the respect for and ability of the managers/editor to pay attention to the facts.  (Thank you Adam and Chris)  A website that uses logic and fact basing edit of entries is the most valuable thing on the internet today, for all kinds of news,
I agree.. but still, the facts can make one's head spin.  Take this for example;

Sandy Hook “Victim” Photo Appears Among Those Killed in Pakistan School Massacre
Why would the image of a Sandy Hook child victim be reused in the context of the Pakistan school massacre this way?  Whoever did that had to know that the modern day YouTube internet truther police would find it.  Is it some kind of sick joke played by our alphabet soup agencies... a kind of middle finger to the truthers?  I gotta believe that's what it is.  

But the picture is there… on a poster on a wall in Pakistan… and it's the same picture of a kid purportedly killed in the Sandy Hook massacre.      

[quote] impossible for us to turn our backs on technology as it would be for a Dodo to give up flying. [/quote]Arthur, dodos were flightless. Which was a big part of why they were hunted to extinction.
Your analogy would work better if you used a bird that flies.
Or were you being ironic and I missed it?   :wink:

but when a child is killed twice, it is just heart rending. wink
There is something very fishy about the Sandy Hook incident.  Lots of details just ain't right.

It is a long video.  So make some popcorn.


lol, I agree, and also enjoy Rudman's free energy machine description, I use a machine similar to that to heat my hands this Winter, and it really is free. We are indirectly describing the process of science, where even fact based carefully detailed written reports are robustly challenged in all aspects by others in the same field who know best how to spot a mistake, or a lie.  Such objective reality check system gave us progress in development and use of technology.  But that system, and the respect for truth obtained thereby, is going away.  The internet has obscured and made difficult the search for truth.  What new arrangements can we use going forward in a garbage-info saturated world?  This is exacerbated by an education system that is breaking down, as summarized by Charles Hugh Smith. I think that the scientific method is more necessary than ever these days, not for discovering new things, but instead to teach an attitude and how to use the dialectic with reality checking to determine truth in an ocean of lies.   Can someone systemize the process for use on internet obtained information?
best wishes