Energy Crisis References

Alice Friedemann:



Wind and Solar:

Grid  Fragility:  ,

Economics: Tim Morgan Tim argues that the economists have got it wrong when they focus on money supply rather than on energy supplies. He is very well informed and his arguments can be quite dense, but he writes very clearly.  He sets out his aims and assumptions in this introductory piece: 

For the situation in the UK: Tim Watkins The Consciousness of Sheep. Tim is an equal opportunity abuser of both the Left wing in Britain and the neo-liberals on the Right. He is very good on the social ramifications of energy matters, particularly the effects on the ordinary bloke-in-the-street.

Tom Murphy, Do The Math: Tom Murphy is a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.  A good place to start is here where he gives an overview of the posts he has written . His latest post is here

A good, introductory, general overview by Dr Nate Hagens: 
Nate is well qualified to link the anthropological and ecological with the economic aspects of the energy crisis. He began his career as a financier (he was a vice president at both the Wall Street firms, Salomon Brothers and Lehman Bros) before he saw the light and did a PhD on systems theory and became an editor at the old Oildrum website. This is a long video (57 mins) but it is well illustrated with diagrams and is an excellent and accessible introduction for newcomers to energy matters.  Alternatively, those who prefer to read can check out his paper at Science Direct which covers the same material in more detail (and with extensive footnotes): 


Three snippets to end with.  . . .

  1. From the blog of a mathematician 

Hopium (n)  Irrational or unwarranted optimism. 

Hopium pervades the climate change and environmental movements. It festers in every green industry, boils in the rhetorical language of world bodies like the UN and IPCC, is demanded in academic journal articles and grants, and lands like a heavy-handed thud as a tool of suppression by the media and popular authors. Hopium is a psychoactive medication, an addiction, a coping mechanism and a group therapy session. Hopium offers escape from the nightmarish reality the planet is plummeting towards. Hopium is a delusional distraction, fostered by mass media, politicians and academics. And hopium is harming us by creating more suffering and restricting free choice.

See the full(short) article here  and more about the author here (he seems interested in modelling and climate science

  1. Two interesting graphs:

Interesting in that they are concerned with energy supplies and war— as we all are now because of the invasion of Ukraine and Western responses to it.

  1. …. and a reminder that  some clear-sighted people saw the energy crisis coming more than 60 years ago:

Rear Admiral HYMAN RICKOVER speech 1957

We live in what historians may someday call the Fossil Fuel Age. . .With high energy consumption goes a high standard of living. . . A reduction of per capita energy consumption has always in the past led to a decline in civilization and a reversion to a more primitive way of life.

Current estimates of fossil fuel reserves vary to an astonishing degree. In part this is because the results differ greatly if cost of extraction is disregarded or if in calculating how long reserves will last, population growth is not taken into consideration; or, equally important, not enough weight is given to increased fuel consumption required to process inferior or substitute metals. We are rapidly approaching the time when exhaustion of better grade metals will force us to turn to poorer grades requiring in most cases greater expenditure of energy per unit of metal.

. . . it is an unpleasant fact that according to our best estimates, total fossil fuel reserves recoverable at not over twice today’s unit cost are likely to run out at sometime between the years 2000 and 2050, if present standards of living and population growth rates are taken into account.

I suggest that this is a good time to think soberly about our responsibilities to our descendants – those who will ring out the Fossil Fuel Age. Our greatest responsibility, as parents and as citizens, is to give America’s youngsters the best possible education [including the energy problem of a world with finite resources].

(The full text can be found at: )