Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Resource depletion (43)

The ongoing collapse of the world’s aquifers

National Observer / Matt Simon / 21 January 2021

As California’s economy skyrocketed during the 20th century, its land headed in the opposite direction. A booming agricultural industry in the state’s San Joaquin Valley, combined with punishing droughts, led to the over-extraction of water from aquifers. Like huge, empty water bottles, the aquifers crumpled, a phenomenon geologists call subsidence. By 1970, the land had sunk as much as 28 feet in the valley, with less-than-ideal consequences for the humans and infrastructure above the aquifers.

The San Joaquin Valley was geologically primed for collapse, but its plight is not unique. All over the world — from the Netherlands to Indonesia to Mexico City — geology is conspiring with climate change to sink the ground under humanity’s feet. More punishing droughts mean the increased draining of aquifers, and rising seas make sinking land all the more vulnerable to flooding. According to a recent study published in the journal Science, in the next two decades, 1.6 billion people could be affected by subsidence, with potential loses in the trillions of dollars.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Telling others about peak oil and limits to growth

Energy Skeptic / 14 November 2020

Obviously the planet is finite. We’re using many times more oil than we’re discovering, and therefore at some point global oil production will peak and decline. Yet even in 2019 this reality is denied by most, so much so that low prices after the last financial crash caused by high oil prices, has led to the public buying gas guzzling light trucks and SUVs.

What follows are the experiences of members of several peak oil groups (energyresources, runningonempty, sfbayoil, and so on, most of them from 2000 to 2005) about their experiences of trying to tell friends and family about peak oil and limits to growth.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Solar is now ‘cheapest electricity in history’, confirms IEA

Carbon Brief / Josh Gabbatiss, Simon Evans / 13 October 2020

The world’s best solar power schemes now offer the “cheapest…electricity in history” with the technology cheaper than coal and gas in most major countries.

That is according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2020. The 464-page outlook, published today by the IEA, also outlines the “extraordinarily turbulent” impact of coronavirus and the “highly uncertain” future of global energy use over the next two decades.

Reflecting this uncertainty, this year’s version of the highly influential annual outlook offers four “pathways” to 2040, all of which see a major rise in renewables.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Building climate-saving tech digs up new problems

The Verge / Justine Calma / 02 January 2020

The solar power and electric vehicles we need to stop the climate crisis pose a different threat to people and the environment: a boom in mining. Moving away from fossil fuels depends on tech like batteries and solar panels that can provide alternative forms of energy. But digging up the raw materials can undermine human rights and destroy fragile ecosystems. As governments and industries try to tackle climate change by building up renewable energy, they’ll need to consider other problems unearthed in the process.

Policy experts writing in the journal Science warn that a more sustainable future could hinge on how leaders manage the demand for metals and minerals, including cobalt and lithium needed for rechargeable batteries.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The surplus energy that powers the world is declining

Peak Prosperity / Adam Taggart / 29 November 2019

Every once in while, when we have an exceptionally timely conversation, we’ll make it available to the public. And we’re doing that this week.

Chris caught petroleum geologist Art Berman right before he went on stage to deliver a presentation on the limitations of shale oil (his excellent slides can be found here). The world is finally starting to realize that the profit-making potential of this space was drastically over-hyped.

But more important, warns Art, is that the souring sentiment on shale oil is a reflection on the bigger challenge ahead of us: How we will power the world in a future of declining net energy?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Staving off the coming global collapse

Post Carbon Institute / William Rees / 24 July 2017

‘Overshoot’ is when a species uses resources faster than can be replenished. We’re already there. And show no signs of changing.

Humans have a virtually unlimited capacity for self-delusion, even when self-preservation is at stake.

The scariest example is the simplistic, growth-oriented, market-based economic thinking that is all but running the world today. Prevailing neoliberal economic models make no useful reference to the dynamics of the ecosystems or social systems with which the economy interacts in the real world.

What truly intelligent species would attempt to fly spaceship Earth, with all its mind-boggling complexity, using the conceptual equivalent of a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle driver’s manual?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects

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