Renewables are less renewable than we thought. That’s the starting point.

October 22, 2021 by Joshua
in Nature

The more I learn about renewables, the more I find they rely on fossil fuels more than I thought. They don’t seem that renewable and relying on false promises looks like it’s leading us to delay acting, as we have for a centure.

I wrote about all the scams we fall for. Desiring as we are to find ways to keep society intact, we want technologies like hydrogen energy storage and market ideas like carbon offsets to work. Over and over they don’t.

For some reason, we consider spending billions of dollars to build a new power grid for wind and solar, or plants to split or fuse atoms, a straightforward, even simple, next step, but having fewer children or not buying SUVs unnatural and unfeasible.

I recently dove into the Energy Skeptic blog. I found it from listening to This Sustainable Life guest Dave Gardner‘s podcast Growthbusters. His episode, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Green New Deal, featured Megan Seibert of a project called The Real Green New Deal. That team includes Alice Friedemann, who writes the Energy Skeptic blog and the books

I haven’t read the books, but I went to town on her posts, reading dozens. My browser extension estimate reading times for many over one hundred minutes. I recommend the ones below. They aren’t peer reviewed but cite their sources. The main story: we’re running out of fossil fuels, the effects of declining oil supply will destabilize the globe, renewables aren’t renewable, and when you look at the engineering details of ways to keep society going as oil declines, almost nothing will stop catastrophe.

Here are the posts I read, as the headlines I found most interesting on

Some repeat content, but I find the stories captivating, though like looking at a train wreck slowly. How can you look away?

I’ll return to reading more, but am taking a break from reading them to work on my upcoming TEDx talk and book. In the meantime, I recommend the posts above. I find them fascinating.

What works

What works in the long term is reducing overconsumption and overpopulation, but almost everyone denounces reducing them. Nearly no one tries, and only living sustainably is living sustainably.

I hope we get it into our thick skulls that sex without children makes for a great sex life, as does not buying so much stuff or services. Let’s change our culture to embrace stewardship. We’ll live longer, more happily, and connected to more people we care about.


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2 responses on “Renewables are less renewable than we thought. That’s the starting point.

  1. Pingback: The scams that keep us from solving our environmental problems » Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Overwhelming research: “Green Growth” is a scam that accelerates lowering Earth’s ability to sustain life. Following or propagating it hurts us. » Joshua Spodek

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