Monthly Archives: December 2012

Is Sustainable Agriculture an Oxymoron?

This is a guest post by Toby Hemenway, author of  Gaia’s Garden, a Guide to Home Scale Permaculture. It is being republished with the author’s permission. It was previously published on his blog, Pattern Literacy.  Jared Diamond calls it “the worst mistake … Continue reading

Posted in Food issues, Guest post, Planning for the Future | Tagged , , , | 143 Comments

Why World Coal Consumption Keeps Rising; What Economists Missed

A primary reason why coal consumption is rising is because of increased international trade, starting when the World Trade Organization was formed in 1995, and greatly ramping up when China was added in December 2001. Figure 1 shows world fossil … Continue reading

Posted in Alternatives to Oil, Energy policy, Financial Implications | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Why Malthus Got His Forecast Wrong

Most of us have heard that Thomas Malthus made a forecast in 1798 that the world would run short of food. He expected that this would happen because in a world with limited agricultural land, food supply would fail to rise … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Implications, Food issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | 160 Comments

Energy Leveraging: An Explanation for China’s Success and the World’s Unemployment

If an employer wants to maximize profits, it will want to leverage its use of high-priced energy sources.  From an employer’s point of view, there are basically three kinds of energy, from most to least expensive: Human energy Petroleum energy Everything … Continue reading

Posted in Energy policy, Financial Implications | Tagged , , , , , , , | 116 Comments