Casaubon's Book

Archives for June, 2010

In Praise of the Astrophysicist

My husband turns 40 this weekend, and we are celebrating. When asked what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said he wanted a party, just like the ones we have for the kids on their birthdays – lots of food, lots of friends, very casual. We’ve managed to collect 40-50 friends and family…

Reader Stephen B. pointed me to this comment at The Oil Drum by someone who argues that there’s more going on under the Gulf that we think. For those who think it is strange that I be highlighting a comment in a thread, I should note that TOD attracts many, many petroleum geologists and other…

In 2006 when I first met Julian Darley, author of _High Noon for Natural Gas_ and the founder of the Post-Carbon Institute, the world was excited by then-famous “Jack” oil field find in the Gulf of Mexico. Both of us were watching the way the world was interpreting the data – people were claiming that…

The Sharks and the Jets are fighting over by the compost pile. Well, ok, maybe not quite, but it has that feel to it. You see, we have two street-gangs of ducks. The first ones, Pekins and one ratty looking Rouen who is shooting for the “oldest living duck record” have been around for a…

Oops, They Did It Again!

I spent my weekend in Washington DC with folks from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, talking about the future of peak oil research and advocacy. It was an interesting weekend, but for a farmgirl who spends most of her waking hours during the summer outside and working in the dirt, it was…

A newly produced UN Report rightly points out, among other things, that the western model of meat and dairy production simply won’t work on a planet of 9 billion people. The report, which quantifies the basic unsustainability of affluent societies and the challenges facing us in satisfying needs we’ve spent a century creating and can’t…

Gotta love Richard Heinberg’s latest – suggestions for Oil Exec quotes on peak oil: “We believe fears about Peak Oil to be . . . a. unsupported by evidence. b. utter rubbish emanating from cretinous doomsday cultists. c. compellingly credible. d. strangely arousing. “People have been forecasting the end of oil . . . a.…

Thanks to reader Sunshine for forwarding me this AP article, which I think does a really good job of pointing up something I’ve been talking about for a long time – the food crisis that was in the news two years ago never actually went away. While food prices stabilized in the developed world and…

You learn pretty quickly to adjust for what any mainstream media says about peak oil and anyone who does any kind of preparation. Consider the case of my friend Kathie Breault who has appeared in various newspaper and television accounts. Kathie is grandmother, a midwife and a permaculturist, and about the least “survivalist” person you…

Early signs of tomato late blight have been found already in Maryland, and realistically, we can expect to see it again this year. Last year for American gardeners in the east, tomato blight was a disaster. Moreover, for those of us who produce our own calorie crops, the blight on potatoes was at least as…