Seeing the world through embodied energy

As Howard Odum noted in his classic work on environmental accounting, “The natural conversion of sunlight to electric charge that occurs in all green-plant photosynthesis after 1 billion years of natural selection may already be the highest net emergy possible.” Emergy—embodied energy—is nearly invisible to us.  In a previous post I looked at how emergy … Continue Reading

The roads to our alternative energy future

A while back I tried to figure out whether we can keep running things the way we’re running them: do we need to transition off of fossil fuels, how fast, and would we be able to provide today’s level of energy supply using alternatives?  I didn’t include many of the details in that post, so … Continue Reading

What are the Internet’s dependencies?

In my last post, I looked at the Internet’s energy use, broadly construed, and contended that we might offload other societal functions onto the Internet.  In this post I’d like to consider in what ways that might be an unwise approach given the dependencies of the Internet. A couple of months ago, Greer argued that … Continue Reading