fossil fuel

On the cusp of collapse: complexity, energy, and the globalised economy

By David Korowicz, from Fleeing Vesuvius. The systems on which we rely for our financial transactions, food, fuel and livelihoods are so inter-dependent that they are better regarded as facets of a single global system. Maintaining and operating this global system requires a lot of energy and, because the fixed costs of operating it are high, it is only cost-effective if it is run at near full capacity. As a result, if its throughput falls because less energy is available, it does not contract in a gentle, controllable manner. Instead it is subject to catastrophic collapse.

The nutritional resilience approach to food security

by Bruce Darrell, from Fleeing Vesuvius. This paper describes practices for ensuring that we can continue to feed ourselves adequately in the future, with a focus on the need to ensure that the soil contains an optimal mix of nutrients. Very few soils have a perfect balance of minerals. As a result, their fertility is limited and the crops grown on them cannot provide all the nutrients people need. As people can get food from elsewhere at present, these local deficiencies do not matter too much. But this situation is likely to change.