Category Archives: Alternatives to Oil

Renewables – Good for some things; not so good for others

Based on the sound of the name renewable, a person might think that using only “renewable” energy is ideal–something we should all strive to use exclusively. But there are lots of energy sources that might be called “renewable,” and lots … Continue reading

Posted in Alternatives to Oil, Introductory Post | Tagged , , , , , , , | 266 Comments

Our Energy Predicament in Charts

A friend asked me to put together a presentation on our energy predicament. I am not certain all of the charts in this post will go into it, but I thought others might be interested in a not-so-difficult version of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternatives to Oil, Financial Implications | Tagged , , , , , , , | 183 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 Natural Gas isn’t Likely to be the World’s Energy Savior

We keep hearing about the many benefits of natural gas–how burning it releases less CO2 than oil or coal, and how it burns with few impurities, so does not have the pollution problems of coal. We also hear about the … Continue reading

Posted in Alternatives to Oil | Tagged , , , , | 91 Comments

The Long-Term Tie Between Energy Supply, Population, and the Economy

The tie between energy supply, population, and the economy goes back to the hunter-gatherer period. Hunter-gatherers managed to multiply their population at least 4-fold, and perhaps by as much as 25-fold, by using energy techniques which allowed them to expand … Continue reading

Posted in Alternatives to Oil, Book draft, Food issues, Introductory Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 158 Comments