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Jonathan Ott on Free/Cheap/Peak fossil fuels/minerals update/comments


Erowid Conference Report: Mind States Costa Rica by Lux, Erowid Staff Writer

v1 – Jul 18, 2007

sample from Jon Ott-

"The End of the Treasure in the Basement", by Jonathan Ott

Jonathan described himself as "not a prophet", but someone who has been interested in the question of energy and the petroleum-based political and economic infrastructure of the industrialized world since the 1970s. He's surprised that the infrastructure has held itself together as long as it has.

Most known organisms derive their energy from the sun, which was properly regarded by many religious cultures as the origin of life.


Since 1979 the amount of energy per capita has decreased, and more people have no access to energy and water every year. We're starting over the hill and soon it will be a cliff. This is important because energy equals life, in a literal and direct equation. What Hubbard pointed out was the disparity between the natural ecology of energy and the economic system of the world.

So we start looking to alternatives to oil, coal, natural gas, and wood. Take nuclear energy � it is highly efficient in generating electrical power, but it requires a huge investment of energy to operate. Nuclear power plants must have their own power plant to run, and it may be the case that nuclear power does not even generate net energy.

Fusion reactors are too little, too late. A best-case scenario is production of fusion power in 2050, and that's way too late.

There are currently four countries that have not yet reached their peak. Jonathan predicts that within 30 years the wheels will come off the global economy. Perhaps as soon as 20, but definitely by 30.

Jonathan's response to this situation has been to create a self-sufficient solar and water power supply that powers his lights, a short-range electric car, and his basic needs. He's beginning to generate all of his own food in a sustainable little farm as well, and his hope is to live to see the day when everything comes unglued so he can see what happens.

Ott is one of my favourite writers and   theoreticians.


Author of (Books)

  • Ometochtzin: Las Muertes de Dos Conejo (2001)
  • Just Say Blow. Coca and Cocaine: A Scientific Blowjob (2001)
  • Shamanic Snuffs or Entheogenic Errhines (2001)
  • Pharmacophilia: The Natural Paradise (1997)
  • Ott book

    This is a mind-blowing book, especially the Angel's Dictionary!

  • Age of Entheogens & the Angels' Dictionary (1995)
  • Ayahuasca Analogues: Pangaean Entheogens (1995)
  • Pharmacotheon: Entheogenic drugs, their plant sources and history (1993)
  • Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion (1986)
  • The Cacahuatl Eater: Ruminations of an Unabashed Chocolate Addict (1985)
  • Teonanacatl: Hallucinogenic Mushrooms of North America (Co-edited by J. Bigwood, 1978)
  • Hallucinogenic Plants of North America (1976)
  • more on Ott here
  • Alan Watts Theater

    Here are six animated clips of short Alan Watts excerpts from the people at FreshMinds. If you're new to Alan Watts, chances are you'll be instantly smitten and wonder how it could be you've never heard of him. If you're an old fan of Alan's, then I'm sure you'll find these short animations to be very moving.
    Alan Watts Theater

    (P.S. I wonder how it could be that the wikipedia entry for Alan manged to find the ONLY shot I've ever seen of him frowning!

    What resources are not Peaking? Now it's Phosphorus! Way important!

    From the Oil Drum site

    Peak Phosphorus

    Google Technorati StumbleUpon

    This is a guest post by Patrick Déry and Bart Anderson. Patrick Déry is a physicist, energy, agriculture and environment analyst and consultant in Quebec, Canada. Bart Anderson is a former reporter, teacher and technical writer; he currently is co-editor of Energy Bulletin. Peak oil has made us aware that many of the resources on which civilization depends are limited.
    But oil production is not the whole story. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus were also required for the "Green Revolution".

    Nitrogen is present in large quantity in the atmosphere (78% of its composition). The Haber-Bosch process for obtaining nitrogen uses one percent of all energy consumed by humans [5]. Nitrogen can also be fixed in the soil using micro-organisms such as rhizobium and azotobacters. If there is sufficient energy, nitrogen will be available.

    Phosphorus may be the real bottleneck of agriculture. [6]

    Population growth was only possible because we found phosphorus deposits and cheap energy to extract, transform and transport it to farms. When we plot data of world population versus world phosphate production, we find a significant correlation.

    What does this correlation mean? Even if we find a real substitute for fossil fuels, it will be impossible to maintain population growth because phosphate deposits are probably in decline. It will be impossible to maintain an agriculture without recycling nutrients.

    Media Ecology Association – 2007 Awards Announced

    MEA recently announced the winners of the 2007 (for year 2006) MEA Awards.

    The Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book
    in the Field of Media Ecology

    Peter K. Fallon for Printing, Literacy, and Education in Eighteenth Century Ireland: Why the Irish Speak English

    The Walter Benjamin Award for Outstanding Article
    in the Field of Media Ecology

    Corey Anton for "Playing with Bateson: Denotation, Logical Types,
    and Analog and Digital Communication"

    The Erving Goffman Award for Outstanding Scholarship
    in the Ecology of Social Interaction

    Richard A. Lanham for The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information

    The Susanne K. Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship
    in the Ecology of Symbolic Form

    Martin H. Levinson for Sensible Thinking for Turbulent Times

    The Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship
    in the Ecology of Culture

    David MacDougall for The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses

    The Lewis Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship
    in the Ecology of Technics

    Timothy C. Campbell for Wireless Writing in the Age of Marconi
    and to
    Fred Turner for From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism

    The Harold A. Innis Award for Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation in the Field of Media Ecology

    Adriana Braga for Feminilidade Mediada por Computador: Interação Social no Circuito-Blogue [Computer-Mediated Femininity: Social Interaction on the Blog Circuit]

    The Mary Shelley Award for Outstanding Fictional Work

    Janna Levin for A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

    The John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis
    in the Field of Media Ecology

    Michael Wesch for The Machine is Us/ing Us (video on

    The Louis Forsdale Award for Outstanding Educator
    in the Field of Media Ecology

    Octavio Islas

    The Jacques Ellul Award for
    Outstanding Media Ecology Activism

    Donna Flayhan

    The James W. Carey Award for
    Outstanding Media Ecology Journalism

    Philip Marchand

    The Walter J. Ong Award for
    Career Achievement in Scholarship

    Jay David Bolter

    The Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement
    in Public Intellectual Activity

    Eric McLuhan