Sheila Newman

Humans already use most of the land on the planet. In many places in the world the competition is between the land-poor and the land-rich. This is a political problem which needs to be solved without further trashing the natural environment. Some systems are more equitable than others and, as discussed in other chapters in this volume (101 Views from Hubbert's Peak and France and Australia After Oil), the Anglo-Celtic system used in most English-speaking countries is worse than most. We humans...

Assumptions for a future scenario

In order for Japan to alleviate or avoid severe food crises related to the fossil-energy shortage projected for the early decades of the twenty-first century it would be necessary to reinstate aspects of Japanese agriculture that were lost in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Based on our assumptions about Japan's future population and the implications of agricultural policies, we can see ways in which local and Japanese government might enhance food and energy self-sufficiency, planning for...

Forests

One of Japan's greatest resources is, of course, its forests. Wood was the basis of most of the building and machinery associated with industry and hydrology in Japan's pre-industrial past. At the end of the 1990s, Japan was the world's largest importer of timber products (approximately 20 percent of the world's total trade volume of timber), with the US not far behind.64 Ironically, forests cover 24,621,200 ha (246,212 km2) of Japan's land, which totals 37,652,000 ha (376,520 km2).65...

The Asian Pathfinder Japan

To set the ultimate limit for growth of petroleum- and gas-fueled vehicles we can start with the near-ultimate example of a catch-up country in the car business - Japan. Even as late as 1949, Japan's transport fleet still counted some 146,500 horse- and ox-drawn carts, compared with fewer than 200,000 trucks and about 100,000 private automobiles. But through a self-reinforcing, very high gain feedback process of growth, with annual growth rates typically of 15-20 percent, year in and year out,...

Countering Propaganda With Simple Solutions

Propaganda about a dematerialized economy makes it hard to establish the reality that material industrial productivity is not actually less reliant on burning fossil fuels than it was in the 1970s, and that drawdown on fossil fuels has in fact been multiplied by the needs of much greater populations. Similarly the obvious still needs to be pointed out that increasing productivity means burning more fuel and outputting more pollution, accelerating petroleum depletion, and adding more greenhouse...

Info

Figure 3.7 Construction to estimate a value for Q0 for world oil Source Author's calculations from data of previous figures in this chapter. With the parameters determined the curve can then be plotted. Using the last 17 years of data to construct a least squares fit, the world's ultimate production is estimated to be Q0 2,260 Gb. This is slightly higher than the value Q0 2,200 Gb obtained by the first method. The difference is about two years of consumption today. According to the logistic...

The collapse of soil fertility mining the soil

Modern agriculture relies on steady inputs of inorganic chemical fertilizers. For grain crops under North Korean soil and growing conditions, the amount required is 400-500 kilograms per hectare (kg ha) of the basic macronutrients nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium (NPK). UN and DPRK agricultural experts estimate the total North Korean requirement at 700,000 tonnes year (NPK).22 The actual bulk amount of fertilizer required to fulfill this demand would be of the order of 1.5-2.5 million tonnes...

Some Political And Commercial Complications India As The New Fbr

There are currently delicate international negotiations proceeding with India, which offers a huge commercial market for uranium but has an interest in developing nuclear self-sufficiency based on its huge thorium reserves. India's nuclear technology has developed independently due to being isolated through India's having developed nuclear weapons too late (1974) for inclusion as an official Nuclear Weapons State under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT of 1970 accorded five...

NOTES

Montgomery, Dirt The Erosion of Civilizations, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2007. 2. B. Freese, Coal A Human History, William Heinemann Ltd, London, 2005. 3. See Sheila Newman's chapter Geothermal, this volume. 4. Solar radiation reaches the earth's surface either by being transmitted directly through the atmosphere (direct solar radiation), or by being scattered or reflected to the surface (diffuse sky radiation). National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC),...

Tailings and radon gas emissions

These present the most serious contamination problems associated with the nuclear industry and they also occur naturally. (Only recently was it realized that radon gas occurring naturally in soils can accumulate in unventilated cellars.) The problem of radon from tailings has been very poorly handled in the recent past, with the worst kind of negligence towards miners. In the US, housing estates have been built with contaminated materials. In Australia, the long-term management of tailings...

The Final Energy Crisis

Second edition published 2008 by Pluto Press and 839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 The right of the individual contributors to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 0 7453 2718 1 Hardback ISBN 978 0 7453 2717 4 Paperback Library of Congress...

Soil Science There Is No Waste Biomass

Long before there was peak oil, there was peak soil. Productivity drops off sharply when topsoil reaches six inches or less, the average crop root zone depth.11 Crop productivity continually declines as topsoil is lost and residues are removed.12 On average it takes about 100 years to form an inch of topsoil. Erosion from poor farming and other abuses can remove centuries of topsoil in less than a decade.13 Industrial agriculture and the expansion of suburbs to crop land is eroding topsoil far...

Alice Friedemann

Biofuel is marketed by powerful and popular concerns as the answer to pricey gasoline, global warming, and fears about overdependence on imported fuel in the US today. Since conservation and reduction of consumption don't sell in a growth-oriented consumer economy, potential yields of biofuel from the edible grains of food crops have been hugely exaggerated and further bulked up with the forecast that cellulosic biofuels are just around the corner. For instance, United States Democratic...

Antony Boys

This chapter is about the future of energy and society in Japan without today's plentiful supplies of fossil energy resources, especially of petroleum. It based its premise on the author's study of North Korea's battle to survive in the period following the withdrawal of access to cheap Russian oil, also in this volume. Since we cannot know the future directly, we can only subject current trends to different hypothetical circumstances. It is not possible to make actual predictions. What we can...

The Lure Of The Supply Side

It is no coincidence that the so-called New Economy and its neoliberal ideology is based on and calls for supply side answers to any economic problem. When these do not work the New Economy answer is demand destruction, after which reduced supply is supposed to satisfy the reduced demand. In fact this only transfers demand to the future. The best example of this is Russia's economic collapse in the 1991-96 period, during which demand destruction for oil and gas was very intense, with about a 45...

Ocean currents

Ocean currents, such as the Florida Current, the part of the Gulf Stream flowing northward past the Florida peninsula, carry enormous quantities of kinetic energy in their motion. There have been several proposals to develop this resource, to place ocean turbines in the strongest of currents and feed the energy generated to population centers onshore. According to Practical Ocean Energy Management Systems, Inc., The first large ocean-system proposal is for a 2.4-mile system that would link...

The Moral Dilemma

Do the industrial countries owe anything to those in underdeveloped countries living lives of misery Will the industrial world be willing to alter its own system to benefit the starving billions elsewhere How much should the industrialized countries be willing to sacrifice for the sake of the underdeveloped world Is it moral to conclude that we should not make such sacrifices, or is the very question born of a fallacious understanding of what it takes to live well These are serious questions...

Conclusion

It is not certain that Darwin got it exactly right with his view of the survival of the fittest. The experience of 500 million years of life on the planet is that species adapted to certain environmental niches and proliferated, only to die out when the environment changed. The limpet, Lingula, which prefers a simple life attached to rocks washed by the waves, has survived unchanged since the Cambrian, but more advanced types and forms of life came and went. Man of human appearance arrived only...

Energy Used For Production Of Nuclear Power Eroei Separation enriching process

Uranium ore yellowcake contains approximately 0.1-0.25 percent of actual uranium oxides. Naturally occurring uranium tends to contain about 0.7 percent uranium-235 U-235 and the rest uranium-238 U-238 . U-238 is not fissile but it is fertile, which means it has the potential to become fissile U-235 in an artificial process of neutron bombardment breeding . U-235 can maintain the fission process in a chain reaction without requiring supplementary neutron bombardment. Breeder reactors are...

Statistics Which Indicate Widespread Decline In Economic Growth From

Not all economic statistics give the false impression that every day everything is getting better and better. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD economist Angus Maddison, for instance, developed a comparative quantitative framework for estimating economic growth across nations and regions going back to 1820.4 His statistics have an historic basis and use social as well as material indicators. They measure units of purchasing power rather than currency exchange rates.5...

Illusions Of Tritium Selfsufficiency

In fact, a self-sustained tritium fusion chain appears to be not simply problematic but absolutely impossible. To see why, we will now look into some details based on what is already known about this problem. A central quantity for any fission reactor is its criticality, namely that exactly one neutron, out of the two to three neutrons liberated per fission reaction, will enable another nuclear fission reaction. More than 99 percent of the liberated fission energy is taken by the heavy fission...

Population Growth And Oil Production Statistics

World population increased between 1979 and 2003 by about 44 percent.7 Global per capita oil production peaked in 1979 at 0.73 tonnes US metric tons, or 1,000 kg per person then dropped by around 14 percent in 1983 to 0.58 tonnes per person, according to British Petroleum's historical timeline series, which starts in 1965. But, if we were to limit our definition of oil to crude the liquid stuff that comes out of the underground reservoirs plus condensates - any associated gases which liquefy...

Energy Intensity Reduction In Oecd Countries

The urgent need for reducing oil and gas intensity of the OECD rich world, or mature urban postindustrial societies is at present little recognized, or at least rarely admitted. Reasons for this have been discussed above. The present situation regarding average oil and gas demand per capita, in barrels or barrels oil equivalent per year, is shown in Table 12.1. Country or region Oil intensity Gas intensity Rounded averages, 2006 barrels per capita barrels oil equivalent per year, bcy per capita...

Geodeterminism

Obviously oil reserves control our destiny, but the question is, to what degree Are we indeed hardwired to overrun the earth as if it were a Petri-dish and we were cancer cells Controlling our destiny depends on how well we are able to control demand, which means controlling our collective numbers and consumption. It is not just the oil-importing countries which find it hard to restrain their consumption the producers and exporters are just as hooked on the money that comes from sales. For this...

Coal Reserves Production And Consumption Of Coal In The World

Over 90 percent of world coal reserves exist in the 13 countries listed in Table 5.2, and the top six have slightly over 80 percent of the reserves.4 The world's total reserves are seen to be 478.8 Gt, or gigatonnes, of hard coal and 430.3 Gt of soft coal, with a total of 909 Gt. A slightly lower number of 857 Gt is reported by the World Energy Council.5 Of the reserves, one-quarter is in the United States. Table 5.2 Coal reserves of major producing countries in billions of metric tons Mt Table...

Some More Technical Problems With Thorium And Fast Breeder Reactors

The costs of developing nuclear power using thorium as fuel are increased by the engineering problems associated with the production, recycling, and containment of extremely radioactive isotopes. Far more shielding would be required than for plants currently operating, including mixed-oxide uranium and plutonium fuel, or MOX, plants, which use recycled uranium mixed with plutonium. The thorium cycle includes the need to come to terms with exotic old and new artificial substances of extreme...

CANDU reactors

A well-established reactor which does not use enriched fuel also exists. Originating in Canada, CANDU reactors3 do not expend energy in separating fissile from non-fissile uranium isotopes. But their operation does require purchase of heavy water from an industry which separates the deuterium D2O , a naturally occurring isotope of hydrogen, from ordinary water. One CANDU uses about 360 tonnes of heavy water, which lasts the reactor for about 30 years with a loss of about 5 percent. D2O occurs...

Colin J Campbell

The Caspian is one of the most ancient oil provinces of the world. The Zoroastrians of antiquity worshipped the eternal flames of Baku, which were smoldering hydrocarbon source rocks and gas seepages. F.N. Semyenov drilled a well there in 1840, operating under a concession granted by the Tsar of Russia, eleven years before the self-styled Colonel Drake drilled his well at Titusville, Pennsylvania, which is commonly taken to mark the start of the modern oil industry. Geographically, it is a...