Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh CLXXVIII

Steve Bull (
7 min readFeb 27, 2024


Knossos, Greece (1993). Photo by author.

Magic Permeates Our Thinking About ‘Solutions’

A few brief Facebook conversations I have had the past couple of days while I work on a longer Contemplation regarding binary thinking, particularly as it applies to sociopolitics.

The first shared this article featuring a picture of a massive ‘agrivoltaic’ project and entitled Sheep may soon graze under solar panels in one of Wyoming’s first ‘agrivoltaic’ projects.

My comment: All I can see is a shitload of ecological destruction in the wake of producing all those solar panels…all in the name of attempting to sustain the unsustainable.

GH: Steve Bull, it was never going to work burning 13 billion tonnes of coal oil and gas per year to keep the lights on . With at least another 2 billion people to add to the global population and up grade the remaining 80 per cent of the population to 1st World comfort

Me: GH, Nope, and all chasing ‘renewables’ is doing is exacerbating our ecological overshoot predicament.

GH: Steve Bull, i got no answers

Me: GH, There are none except what Nature has in store. The best our species can hope for is community mitigation/adaptation via relocalisation.

MC: Steve Bull, “Community mitigation/adaptation via relocalization”… Almost a bumper sticker… Thanks for that. I believe you are correct sir… How do we get on with this and how far can it be scaled up to include how many of us and how soon before the rest of us turn into a mob of armed hungry savages (strategy suggestions do not need to be pre-approved by ideologue peers and browbeaters [not that I notice that many in this in this group] and would be most welcome)…

Me: MC, I don’t have any suggestions beyond what I began last year: a community food gardening guild. Most people don’t want to hear the hard ‘facts’ on our predicament so I don’t discuss them with community members. Getting neighbours to begin and expand food gardening is the best I can offer in my suburban community on the outskirts of the sprawling city of Toronto. I do try to raise awareness of the insanity of pursuing the perpetual growth chalice by our politicians but, again, most people dismiss the notion so I do it infrequently.

TE: Steve Bull, and then a hailstorm hits and destroys the solar panels in about 3 minutes. Nice greenwash for intensive industrial agriculture tho

GH: TE, new panels have hail ratings .. although i see ( from reports ) hail is increasing in size

This second conversation is based upon this post:

My comment: There is nothing ‘sustainable’ about the complex, industrial products pictured here.

RH: Steve Bull, In this particular usage it means having energy forms that are renewable as opposed to those that are in the process of making life very hard if not impossible for a large percentage of the inhabitants of the world. You will notice for example that some of the people portrayed are growing plants.

Me: RH, Non-renewable, renewable energy-harvesting technologies are not sustainable and contribute to a host of ecologically-destructive processes, just as detrimental to the world’s inhabitants as hydrocarbons are. To say little of the fact that they depend significantly on hydrocarbon-based resources up and down their production and supply chains. Because of carbon emissions tunnel vision, these products are perceived as ‘clean/green’ but are nothing of the sort. They do zero to address our fundamental predicament of ecological overshoot. In fact, since ‘renewables’ have been additive to our energy use, there is a good argument to be made that our pursuit of them is simply exacerbating our predicament. Until we can stop our expansion/growth of both population and resource extraction/use, and reduce our energy/resource demands (significantly), then all the chatter about an ‘energy transition’ is just noise to help reduce our cognitive dissonance (and produce/sell more ecologically-destroying industrial products).

RH: Steve Bull, A significant part of the drive for sustainability is simply the reduction of wasteful uses of energy. And it isn’t simply chatter, there is a a lot of jobs and economic development involved in making our society more efficient.

Incidentally, there is now enough solar, wind, small hydro, geothermal, and other renewables on stream now to cover the energy requirements of producing additional similar energy systems right up to and including getting rid of fossil fuels.

While there may be some environmental advocates who see with tunnel vision, it isn’t nearly the number of fossil fuel cranks who have had the blinders on, concerning the impacts on all the cartoon categories mentioned, for decades.

Me: RH, We will have to agree to disagree. You may wish to read this latest piece by physicist Tom Murphy.

RH: Steve Bull Yeah, I have seen some of those before, the death by hockey sticks was a new one. Other than saying what we are doing in terms of our fellow mammals, is not sustainable, how does it relate to the jobs bill?

Me: RH, It’s about sustainability and creating “…lots of jobs and economic development…” are the exact opposite of what sustainability requires. We need degrowth.

RH: Steve Bull, I wouldn’t say it is the exact opposite, but rather part of a direction that we need to compromise on with respect to other factors like a just transition, conservation, land use, and economics.

GW: RH, bs

And, finally, this one posted by PW to the Peak Oil Facebook Group I am a member of:

SD: Ladies and gentlemen the future

PW: SD, 😂🤣🥲😁😆…..we can’t even afford the infrastructure!!!

SD: PW, not really that expensive. Overhead wires for trolleys and busses were very common in the first half of the 20th century (1900s to 1950s.) The only reason they disappeared was because diesel became cheaper. But those days of cheap diesel are gone, and it wouldn’t take much to get the wires up again. In fact, it would create a lot of jobs. The only thing that is needed is the demand (electric trucks with cable attachments) and coordinated infrastructure development (government.) It’s the only solution.

PW: Here’s additional data of why the electric trolleys and other forms of transportation went out of business. Although GM was acquitted I feel that they somehow beat the charges with bribery and other means. You make it seem that the switch to electric as like hanging drapes. There is no solution.

Me: SD, Magical thinking solves everything.

SD: Steve Bull what’s magic about technology?

Me: SD, The idea that we have the resources (mineral and energy) to try and scale up to anywhere near replacement levels, that this can be done without further ecological systems destruction, that it can be accomplished without putting us further into ecological overshoot, and that we have the economic capacity to do this (because what’s a few quadrillion more in debt/credit?) are just a few examples off the top of my head of the magical thinking necessary to have complex industrial technology help to ‘solve’ anything in our future. Such thinking is simply exacerbating our predicament.

PW: Steve Bull, Instant Magical solutions sold here.

PS: Steve Bull, Yes, a concise summation of . . . the coming apocolypse

If you’ve made it to the end of this contemplation and have got something out of my writing, please consider ordering the trilogy of my ‘fictional’ novel series, Olduvai (PDF files; only $9.99 Canadian), via my website or the link below — the ‘profits’ of which help me to keep my internet presence alive and first book available in print (and is available via various online retailers).

Attempting a new payment system as I am contemplating shutting down my site in the future (given the ever-increasing costs to keep it running).

If you are interested in purchasing any of the 3 books individually or the trilogy, please try the link below indicating which book(s) you are purchasing.

Costs (Canadian dollars):
Book 1: $2.99
Book 2: $3.89
Book 3: $3.89
Trilogy: $9.99

Feel free to throw in a ‘tip’ on top of the base cost if you wish; perhaps by paying in U.S. dollars instead of Canadian. Every few cents/dollars helps…

If you do not hear from me within 48 hours or you are having trouble with the system, please email me:

You can also find a variety of resources, particularly my summary notes for a handful of texts, especially Catton’s Overshoot and Tainter’s Collapse: see here.

It Bears Repeating: Best Of…Volume 1

A compilation of writers focused on the nexus of limits to growth, energy, and ecological overshoot.

With a Foreword and Afterword by Michael Dowd, authors include: Max Wilbert; Tim Watkins; Mike Stasse; Dr. Bill Rees; Dr. Tim Morgan; Rob Mielcarski; Dr. Simon Michaux; Erik Michaels; Just Collapse’s Tristan Sykes & Dr. Kate Booth; Kevin Hester; Alice Friedemann; David Casey; and, Steve Bull.

The document is not a guided narrative towards a singular or overarching message; except, perhaps, that we are in a predicament of our own making with a far more chaotic future ahead of us than most imagine–and most certainly than what mainstream media/politics would have us believe.

Click here to access the document as a PDF file, free to download.



Steve Bull (

A guy trying to make sense of a complex and seemingly insane world. Spend my days pondering our various predicaments while practising local food production...