Daily Prep

How To Test Alkaline Batteries Without A Meter

Dead or Not?
Thursday, May 21, 2015, 6:56 PM

An interesting method to determine if that random battery found in the back of the junk drawer has any life left in it.



Laschon Robert Paul/Shutterstock

Who Will Be Tomorrow's Superpower?

The geo-political map is set to change. Is the world ready?
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 10:15 AM

There’s a popular geopolitical parlor game called Who will be the next superpower?

While the game excels at triggering a mind-fogging tsunami of nationalistic emotions, it doesn’t shed much light on the really consequential question: What is power?

These are important questions to ponder as, around the world, unsustainable policies from the 20th century are beginning to fail in earnest. What will the future geopolitical landscape look like in their aftermath? » Read more



Who Will Dominate This Century?

Which country(ies) are best positioned to exert themselves?
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 10:14 AM

Executive Summary

  • The key requirements for being a word power
  • Is the "superpower" model sustainable in today's age?
  • The key ability to leverage resources
  • Which country(ies) is most likely to dominate in this century?

If you have not yet read Who Will Be Tomorrow's Superpower? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we surveyed the nature of power to explore the concept of superpowers.  In this Part 2, we look at power as the ability to solve problems.

What Are the Available Resources?

Solving problems in the real world is not an abstract project, though abstract concepts may undergird the solutions. In the real world, we have to use whatever resources are available, with an eye on cost, scale and sustainability.

Alternative energy offers a useful example. Almost everyone agrees that alternatives to fossil fuels would be beneficial, but what is generally overlooked is the tiny scale of alternatives in the current scheme of things.  Depending on what’s being included as alternative (hydropower, etc.), alternative energy sources currently comprise a few percentage points of total energy consumption.

To scale alternatives up to even 50% of current consumption will require not just a monumental amount of capital investment; it also requires the invention and manufacture of new systems of energy storage on an equally vast scale.

As has been noted many times, this capital investment includes an extended period of fossil fuels consumption, as we need huge amounts of energy to construct alternative sources and storage systems. Some have characterized this as building an aircraft in the air while keeping your current aircraft aloft.

As Peak Prosperity members know well, capital has a variety of forms, all of which work together: financial, intellectual, social, human, cultural and symbolic. All these forms of capital must be... » Read more



The Electrical Grid May Well Be The Next War's Battlefield

Crippling the US without firing a shot
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 10:38 PM

We talk a lot about Peak Cheap Oil as the Achilles' heel of the exponential monetary model, but the real threat to the quality of our daily lives would be a sustained loss of electrical power. Anything over a week without power for any modern nation would be a serious problem.  » Read more

What Should I Do?

Surviving the Colorado Floods

A member's account of the disaster and lessons learned
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 1:40 PM

For the past year, I’ve lived in a valley at 6,500 feet, in a small community of homes tucked in the mountains of northern Colorado, surrounded by national forest. It’s just a fifteen-minute drive down the mountain to Lyons, a surprisingly vibrant town of twenty-five hundred or so that’s now drowning in water and sewage and pieces of people’s homes, and has been since the early hours of Friday, September 13.

I was with some friends at the Distillery in Lyons the night of the floods, but made it back up the mountain before the water tore through town in the middle of the night. It’s now several days later and entire neighborhoods are gone, the water is contaminated with E. coli, the infrastructure is destroyed, the St. Vrain river is now somehow a few hundred yards south of where it was, and most everybody in town is displaced for several months, or permanently. » Read more

Daily Prep

DIY Battery Charging Station

Organization and charging in one nice package
Thursday, July 25, 2013, 2:15 PM

A great DIY charging station tutorial for making sure all your various batteries are charged and ready to go when you need them.



Bankers Own the World

And are ultimately destroying it
Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 12:41 PM

Today, some of the most celebrated individuals and institutions are ensconced within the financial industry; in banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms. Which is odd because none of these firms or individuals actually make anything, which society might point to as additive to our living standards. Instead, these financial magicians harvest value from the rest of society that has to work hard to produce real things of real value. » Read more

Daily Prep

DIY Bucket Hydroelectric Generator

DIY Hydroelectric Generator

Free 35 page PDF manual
Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 3:36 PM

The New Future of Energy Policy

The rise of the powergrid (and new taxes)
Monday, November 26, 2012, 2:32 PM

Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan (and Brooklyn), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality.

Volatility in climate has drawn the attention of policy makers for a decade. But as so often is the case, a dramatic event like superstorm Sandy – the largest storm to hit New York since the colonial era – has punctured the psyche of the densely populated East Coast, including the New York-Washington, DC axis where U.S. policy is made.

Not surprisingly, in the weeks since the historical hurricane made landfall, new attention is being paid to the mounting costs that coastal world megacities may face.

Intriguingly, however, this new conversation about climate, energy policy, and America’s reliance on fossil fuels comes after a five-year period in which the U.S. has dramatically lowered its consumption of oil and seen an equally dramatic upturn in the growth of renewable energy. » Read more

Daily Prep

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Best Solar Chargers to Have for Emergencies

Small portable solar charges for small devices
Monday, November 19, 2012, 2:26 PM

A review of some of the innovative small solar chargers to have available for emergency situations.