Home > Crazy Town Podcast > Episode 3 – 1.21 Jigawatts: Energy Literacy and the Real Scoop on Fossil Fuels


March 20, 2019

What would we do without energy? The short answer is, “Nothing, absolutely nothing.” And sadly, most people know next to nothing about energy and its fundamental role in society and life itself. If you’ve ever tried to push a car a small distance down a street, then maybe you have some understanding. But do you know how many hours of human labor are contained in a barrel of oil? Or how much it would cost for people to do the work of a fossil-fueled machine? Or how hard a world champion cyclist has to pedal a bike to toast a single slice of Wonder Bread? In this episode of Crazy Town, Asher, Rob, and Jason look for answers as they tour the insane asylum where our energy habits reside.


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Show Notes


Asher Miller 0:01
This is Asher, and I’m here with Jason and Rob. Guys. If you had to describe this podcast in five words or less, what would you say?

Jason Bradford 0:08
I’m gonna go with “Wile E. Coyote guzzling gasoline.”

Rob Dietz 0:13
I’m thinking “climate change diarrhea hurricane.”

Asher Miller 0:17
Are you serious? Maybe I should do this thing on my own.

Rob Dietz 0:20
Fine. It’s a show about how to stay sane in a world where there’s too many people consuming too much stuff and the planet can’t take it anymore.

Asher Miller 0:29
You had me at diarrhea.

Rob Dietz 0:34
Caution – if you’re allergic to four letter words, you might want to try a different podcast.

So we’re all activists; you guys have gone out and tabled at events and tried to convince people of things…

Asher Miller 0:50
I sit around. I’m not very active.

Rob Dietz 0:53
Okay, we got one sitter, a couple of activists. You used to have a radio show, Jason.

Jason Bradford 0:58
That’s true.

Rob Dietz 0:58
So one time I was at a conference, and I was tabling; the whole idea was, I was helping people understand that the economy can’t grow infinitely on a finite planet. As you can imagine, thousands of people were rushing up to the table. It was incredible. But the one that I remember most – there was this one guy who came up to me toward the end of the day, who said.. you know, I gave my spiel, and he said, ‘oh, well, you don’t have to worry about that’. So I’m like, well, enlighten me. Why..

Asher Miller 1:33
We’re gonna populate Mars? Is that why?

Rob Dietz 1:35
Yeah, no. He said, ‘I’ve got this idea for how we can generate all the energy that we need. And it’ll solve all our issues with wealth and money, poverty, and I’ve got it!’

Asher Miller 1:49
Hemp or Thorium. Those are my two guesses.

Rob Dietz 1:52
Those are good tries, but you’d be shocked to learn it’s exercise bikes.

Asher Miller 1:56

Rob Dietz 1:57
Yeah, so this guy says, ‘here’s what we do, we set up these gyms, we’re gonna put out an array of exercise bikes, when you pedal on ’em, you’re gonna generate electricity. And you’ll have a little magnetic card, you know, reader thing in there and you put your card in. And based on how much… Jason’s already getting antsy here… based on how much electricity you generate, it’ll fill your card with money and you can you know, go about your day spending on whatever things you can dream of.

Jason Bradford 2:30
Okay, I gotta step up here at the moment.

Asher Miller 2:32
You can buy a grain of rice

Jason Bradford 2:35
Exactly. So there was this post going around like in Facebook, it was ‘power your home for a day with a 20 minute workout’ and they showed this like sixty year old guy in a recliner bike drinking orange juice. And the idea was, in 20 minutes, he’d power his home.

Asher Miller 2:50
Oh sure, yeah.

Jason Bradford 2:51
I’m going – wait a second, wait a second. A typical human can put out maybe 100 watts you know for like 20 minutes or an hour, instantaneous output.

Asher Miller 3:01
Yeah, you’re gaining some good exercise.

Rob Dietz 3:02
Hundred watts. That sounds like a lot.

Jason Bradford 3:05
Well, so if you do 100 watts for an hour, and they were advertising 20 minutes.. But 100 watts for an hour – it’s 100 watt hours.

Rob Dietz 3:12

Jason Bradford 3:12
Okay, the average American home is something like 30 kilowatt-hours? That’s 30,000 watt-hours a day of energy use. Okay, and that’s just in your home. That’s not your office or your car or industry, you know, the farming that happens to feed your…

Asher Miller 3:29
So they forget to mention the 300 other people in the back there pedaling the entire day, right.

Jason Bradford 3:34
That’s absurd!

Rob Dietz 3:34
All you gotta do is think about one operation in your house to run a load of laundry -that’s 500 watts. So by this person who visited me at the conference, by their take, you’d have five of these people for an hour run to get one load of laundry.

Jason Bradford 3:53
Yeah, it’s only 47 minutes on the load I do.

Asher Miller 3:55
That’s all that’s all we need right now. I’m just gonna do laundry all day.

Rob Dietz 3:58
Oh, yeah. Yeah. No problem.

Asher Miller 4:00
Reminds me of.. have you guys seen that video? It’s on YouTube – Robert versus the toaster?

Rob Dietz 4:06
Oh, yeah.

Jason Bradford 4:06
That’s amazing.

Asher Miller 4:07
So he’s this German Olympic athlete right? Huge guy. Not one of these long distance… you know, cyclists. But one of those guys that are like..

Jason Bradford 4:17

Asher Miller 4:17
Yeah. Track guys.

Rob Dietz 4:19
Yeah, like Lance Armstrong, they take like.. what is it, like stuff to make your hemoglobin work better? Hematocrit? This guy’s taking steroids, right? He is huge.

Jason Bradford 4:24

Rob Dietz 4:31
He reminds me of Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles, you know, the Pixar thing? He actually looks like that. He’s an anvil of a man.

Asher Miller 4:40
Right. So this video had him basically see if he could toast a piece of bread, you know, just pedaling a bike. Right? And he was working his ass off. I mean, I don’t even know what the equivalent of gear he would have been in, you know what I mean, to pedal this thing, but he was generating something.

Rob Dietz 5:00
I’m sure his sprocket was the size of a hula hoop.

Asher Miller 5:03
Right. Enormous, right. And I think he generated like 700 watts. And he held that for certainly less than two minutes, right? Working his ass off to try to get this little piece of bread toast.

Rob Dietz 5:16
I mean based on what you said, like if one of us normal humans can ride for an hour at 100 watts, that guy’s doing seven times that. For a short…

Jason Bradford 5:26
Yeah, that’s basically the output of a horse. Right. But only for like, a couple minutes.

Rob Dietz 5:32
That’s probably his nickname.

Asher Miller 5:33
I think that’s why they call steroids – horse, right? Like, yeah, so he did that. And he was spent at the end. I think he said something about how he could taste blood in his mouth when he was done.

Jason Bradford 5:43
He was tired.

Asher Miller 5:44
And he just…’PING!’ – a little piece of bread that you got to get the butter on really fast if you wanted it to melt.

Jason Bradford 5:51
Yeah. It was white bread, and you could barely see a brown hue to it.

Asher Miller 5:54

Jason Bradford 5:55
It wasn’t that good.

Asher Miller 5:56
Yeah. And they did that video, I think in order to help people sort of understand how much energy it takes to even you know, toast a piece of bread.

Rob Dietz 6:03
So I once did that. It wasn’t bread, but I was on this is kind of weird… I was on a cross country bicycle trip. So I was in bicycling shape. And we had made it over the mountains in the state of Washington and over to Montana, and we stopped at a place called Libby dam. It’s one of these big hydro dams, backs up a lake all the way up into Canada. They actually call it Lake Koocanusa, which stands for the Kootenay River, Canada, and USA.

Asher Miller 6:37
That’s a great name.

Rob Dietz 6:38
What a great name. So inside this dam, there’s exhibits to you know, explain what’s going on. And one of the things they had was a bicycle hooked up to some light bulbs, so you peddle it, and it’ll light the light bulbs. And I was able to wipe like half a light bulb for like half a second.

Jason Bradford 6:58
Dim flickering.

Rob Dietz 6:59
I was so sad! I was like, ‘I’m gonna tear this thing up! I’ve been biking across the country!’ Yeah, nothing.

Asher Miller 7:08
Robert would have looked at you with pity.

Rob Dietz 7:09
Oh, he would have just squished me like an ant between his fingers.

Jason Bradford 7:15
Oh, my God.

Asher Miller 7:15
Unfortunately, people don’t have that experience very often, right?

Rob Dietz 7:19

Asher Miller 7:19
So they don’t get that at all. So this guy that came up to you, you know, at this conference, well intentioned, I’m sure, thought he had this epiphany, brilliant idea, ‘hey, we could address the obesity crisis in the United States and generate all the energy that we possibly need.’ Right? Just didn’t really have a sense of…

Jason Bradford 7:37
He’s off. He’s off by like, orders…

Asher Miller 7:39
Several. Several orders of magnitude.

Rob Dietz 7:41
Yeah. Well, you guys know that whenever I think about these things, my twisted mind always goes to pop culture.

Jason Bradford 7:48
Of course.

Rob Dietz 7:49
And so I thought of a pop culture reference to how little we know about energy. So take a listen. This is from the movie Back to the Future.

Marty McFly 7:57
Well, this is it. This is the part coming up, doc.

Dr. Emmett Brown 8:04
(Future Dr. Emmett Brown in video) No no no no! This sucker’s electrical, but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 jigawatts of electricity.

What did I just say?

(Future Dr. Emmett Brown in video) This sucker’s electrical, but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 jigawatts of electricity…


Marty McFly 8:31

Asher Miller 8:34
‘What the hell is a jigawatt.’ It’s a good question. What is a jigawatt? You think the writer didn’t know if the first thing meant energy either?

Rob Dietz 8:43
So yeah, actually, there’s a big debate about this. And I think the director of the film addressed it. So it should be gigawatt. Right? Like, a gigabyte? You know?

Jason Bradford 8:53
Yeah yeah. Jigawatt.

Asher Miller 8:55

Jason Bradford 8:56
‘I’m just a jigawatt’…

Asher Miller 8:59
That’s the David Lee Roth song!

Jason Bradford 9:01
Yeah. ’80s reference.

Rob Dietz 9:03
Wow! I thought I had the shitty pop culture references.

Jason Bradford 9:06
Sorry about that. Great pants.

Asher Miller 9:08
Yeah, great pants.

Rob Dietz 9:10
Okay, so the controversy is that you actually can legally pronounce that word jigawatts.

Asher Miller 9:18

Rob Dietz 9:20
It is not illegal.

Asher Miller 9:22
That’s good.

Rob Dietz 9:24
It’s an alternate pronunciation.

Jason Bradford 9:25
Because of the movie?

Rob Dietz 9:26
No, no! Originally. And so I think that their science advisor had pronounced it that way. But in the actual script, they spelled it like, J-I-G-A.. jigawatt. But that’s the reality. What the hell is a jigawatt?

Jason Bradford 9:44
It’s a big number.

Asher Miller 9:46
It is a very big number. That’s true.

Jason Bradford 9:48
A lot of bike pedaling. How many people does it take to pedal to a jigawatt?

Asher Miller 9:54
1.21 jigawatts.

Jason Bradford 9:56
And it’s in a DeLorean for God’s sake.

Rob Dietz 10:00
Yeah. It’s not on a bike. I want a DeLorean bike with those doors that rise up on the side.

Asher Miller 10:07
Yeah, you could make one. I mean, they have recumbent bikes, right? You just add those doors to it. I’m sure you could pedal really far with those doors on.

Jason Bradford 10:13
What year did that movie come out, the first one?

Rob Dietz 10:15

Jason Bradford 10:16
Ah, that was a good year. Man! I miss the mid 80s.

Rob Dietz 10:19
Yeah. Well, here we are in the late 2000.

Asher Miller 10:23
And we don’t know any better. We know just as much as we did then.

Jason Bradford 10:28
Aren’t we supposed to be able to time travel by now?

Rob Dietz 10:31

Asher Miller 10:32
Marty McFly, last year, he was like flying on skateboards?

Rob Dietz 10:35
Yeah, you know, skateboards that float. You know, where’s that? It’s a far cry from what we call a hoverboard now and what he had.

Asher Miller 10:43
Oh and the shoes that tie themselves, right?

Rob Dietz 10:45
Yeah. Okay, so I think we’ve pretty much established that we’re energy idiots, were completely illiterate. So we were thinking about what would you need to know if you were going to understand energy. And I think you need to answer four questions. That’s – How important is it for what we’re doing in society? How powerful is it? How cheap is it? And how much of it is there out there?

Jason Bradford 11:11
Yeah, those are great. That’s a good way to frame it. I know, part of the thing… I think about it as a biologist and I look at at human evolution, and evolution of society, and how it’s changed. And something that’s really weird about humans is that we have the ability to control what’s called exosomatic energy. So this ‘somatic’ refers to the body. So ‘exo’ is outside of the body.

Rob Dietz 11:36
Thanks for explaining that because that was a that’s like a $10 word, right? That’s like a one point 21 jigawatt word!

Asher Miller 11:44
That’s an SAT word.

Jason Bradford 11:45
That’s an SAT word. Exactly. So endosomatic would be like, you know, the bike pedaling energy. You pedal, but exosomatic…

Rob Dietz 11:54
Well there’s some exo there, because it’s a bike, right?

Jason Bradford 11:57
Well, no the energy you’re applying to the pedals, that’s coming from your own body. You’re burning calories in your own body…

Asher Miller 12:02
Endosomatic would be Donald Trump telling you to pedal.

Rob Dietz 12:05
I got you. I’m just gonna go back and watch some more Back to the Future while you finish this.

Jason Bradford 12:09
Yeah, yeah. Watch more of that. But exosomatic is that we control energy that’s not of our own body. And so the first one is like fire. So imagine building a campfire and cooking mastodon roast over it. And having a mastodon drum stick, or something like that.

Asher Miller 12:29
That’d be a pretty big drumstic.

Rob Dietz 12:34
Pick your teeth with the tusks afterwards.

Jason Bradford 12:37
But, you know, humans may have been using fire to cook for many thousands of years, and it has affected potentially, our digestive system and our brain development. So it’s a huge part of evolutionary theory of humans.

Asher Miller 12:51
Yeah, the theory is that basically, that’s what led to the huge advances in our brain development. Right? All the things we’re able to do now, are a result of us being able to cook our food and not having to expend as much energy and and digesting it and all that.

Jason Bradford 13:04
Right. And then we talked about the term horsepower, refers literally to harnessing a horse. And using its….

Rob Dietz 13:12
Well, that’s literal too. You put a harness on the horse.

Jason Bradford 13:16
Exactly. That’s what it is. It’s literal. So that’s about 10 times the output of a person. A horse is about 10 times more…

Rob Dietz 13:24
Unless you’re that cyclist.

Asher Miller 13:26
Yeah. We could just put a harness on Robert.

Jason Bradford 13:28
Imagining Robert, but having to work all day.. Not much blood in the mouth.

Asher Miller 13:35
So we got a put a bit in there.

Jason Bradford 13:39
Then we start to figure out how to make windmills, say in Holland, or whatever, or figuring out how to make water wheels. And so we would try to extract energy from the environment, and grow crops and take the straw. So prior to the Industrial Revolution, we were using excess somatic energy, but it was at a certain scale that was sort of harnessing from the environment with contemporary solar flows, either via animals or via water or wind.

Asher Miller 14:06
Or you might get like an extra few years by burning plants or cutting wood, right?

Jason Bradford 14:12
Few years of what?

Asher Miller 14:13
Of solar energy.

Jason Bradford 14:15
Right, you can store it a bit. Sure, yeah. And then release it later. So that was also important. But then what you were doing, though, when we started tapping fossil fuels is we were taking energy that was contained from previous epics of solar radiation. And now burning that for the first time in millions of years.

Asher Miller 14:36
It is compressed… compressed energy, right?

Jason Bradford 14:38
Yeah, very, it’s very dense. So that’s an important property and then doesn’t compete for land use either, right. So that’s an interesting property. You could have an oil well on the same sort of area field that you had a farm on. So that’s been sort of a transformation of our society through this various stages of sort of expanding our use of exosomatic energy.

Asher Miller 15:00
So I think one of the key things to understand too is that – and this is gonna sound stupid – but I think we take it for granted. And that is, energy itself. Forget the form it takes. But energy is effectively the thing that makes everything else possible. Without energy, we don’t function. I mean, us eating food is a conversion of energy to calories that we burn right? So our bodies can’t move without it. Our brains don’t think without it. And so even on a small scale like that, without that energy, forget it.

Jason Bradford 15:32
Yeah, so like bread and rice, and you know, steak or whatever. That’s all part of endosomatic energy. And that’s important. But the amount of calories we use for our own body metabolism is tiny relative now to what our society uses in the exosomatic sense. But it’s all doing the same thing. It’s maintaining, not in the sense of not maintaining our body or allowing us to say play tennis or type on a typewriter or computer typewriter.

Rob Dietz 16:00
Typing on a typewriter? You’re back in 1985 again!

Jason Bradford 16:04
Exactly. Yeah, I learned on IBM Selectric, I think it was called. But anyway, the entire society now requires this burning. Everything we do is burning something, whether it’s metabolic, or it’s actually like in a, you know, in an engine somewhere.

Rob Dietz 16:22
So I always like taking this down to some kind of an example that you can follow along and the one that I thought of it had to do… Asher, you and I got to work with some people that were involved in the textile industry recently.

Asher Miller 16:36

Rob Dietz 16:36
And we were thinking about clothing and what a, you know, important part of the economy that is it’s uh… you know, of course, agriculture and food is going to be the very base layer. But you know, kind of the next thing you’d think about from a survival perspective is shelter and clothing. And so I was thinking like, what would textiles or clothing based on smaller energy flows [be like] back in the day 2000 years ago?

Jason Bradford 17:04
Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Have you seen that?

Rob Dietz 17:07
Uh.. not recently.

Asher Miller 17:09
Well, I remember the scene in Life of Brian where he opens the blinds and he’s naked. So he’s got no clothes…

Jason Bradford 17:16
There’s not a lot of clothing back then.

Asher Miller 17:17

Jason Bradford 17:17
It was pretty simple.

Asher Miller 17:18
Well he also did live in quite a warm, you know, … ?

Jason Bradford 17:20
Yeah. So you didn’t need much

Rob Dietz 17:22
But the idea that, you know, you would get your clothing basically, from what you could scrounge around you from whatever fiber was available, you know, the fig leaf around your waist, or the deer skin that you could…

Asher Miller 17:35
I mean, way back, when societies formed, you know, civilizations formed and people were sedentary, right. And in cities, you know, there were forms of textiles that came from far away. But they were such a luxury, and you think about the Silk Road, you know, these things would be transported over thousands of miles and take weeks and months to get to you. And the cost of them were really prohibitive for most people. Right?

Rob Dietz 18:02
Right. But then it all goes forward, and you start doing things like growing crops specifically for this, you know, and this is, I guess, after like, you’re talking about harnessing crops, harnessing horses, and of course, forcing people to do labor for you. You know, like cotton fields.

Asher Miller 18:20
Human muscle power.

Rob Dietz 18:20

Jason Bradford 18:21
Yeah. Yeah, like linen, cotton, hemp fiber – all really important crops, for sure.

Rob Dietz 18:27
And then what’s amazing, of course, once the Industrial Revolution comes along, and you get to power things with oil or with coal, and you have the ingenuity that came along as well to be able to figure out how to actually run a combine over a field of cotton and spit out you know, the raw material that you actually want. It was just such a huge change. I mean, I just compare that to what you’re talking about, Asher, with the Silk Road. Instead of waiting eight months for the perfect piece of fabric to be delivered from China overland by camels or whatever is delivering it, now you got huge machines harvesting, you’re shipping that material off to East Asia, you got people processing it, they’re, dying it in some other country, gets shipped over to South America for final production, back to the Walmart in North America.

Asher Miller 19:21
Yeah. And you pay what? 10 bucks, 20 bucks for a T shirt. And then you toss it, you know, after a while because another shirt comes along.

Jason Bradford 19:31
It smells bad.

Asher Miller 19:32
It smells bad. Yeah, new fashion.

Rob Dietz 19:35
But of course, you would, you know, you would really think, ‘wow, we should always do it this way. It’s easy!’, right? You just go down to the store, buy a shirt and get it. And I think what we’re talking about is we have no concept of what’s behind that.

Asher Miller 19:48
Yeah. Well, you think about something like a T-shirt, you know, and how it’s made. It’s not just growing and harvesting the materials to make it, you know, it’s what you’d said. The fact is we have so much energy and the energy is so incredibly powerful, that we have now, that you could actually break up the process and ship it in sort of pieces or stages, you know, to different parts of the world because the labor cost is really the thing that is the driving difference in terms of how much it costs to do something. And waht an amazing transformation! People tend to think of the Industrial Revolution as being something that’s about human ingenuity, you know, who was the guy who invented the gin? The cotton gin?

Rob Dietz 20:32
Eli Whitney. Every good Georgia boy knows that right?

Asher Miller 20:35
So Eli Whitney, so we think, God, these, these inventors, these geniuses, you know, and it’s true, we figured out ways to harness it. But if it wasn’t for the fact that we had these fossil fuels to put to use, you know, it wouldn’t have mattered.

Jason Bradford 20:52
And so there’s these amazing sketches from Leonardo da Vinci’s book. Sketchbook. And he’ll sketch things like, the airplane.

Rob Dietz 21:00

Jason Bradford 21:01
Right? He like, he came up with all these things that never materialized because he lived prior to the Industrial Revolution. And people look back and go, ‘Leonardo invented this and invented that!’ It’s like, an idea is actually…

Asher Miller 21:13
In theory.

Jason Bradford 21:13
Yeah. I mean, there’s these geniuses that come up, and they have all these ideas, but it’s this material conditions, the energetic abundance we have that allow them to develop in reality. And that’s what’s fascinating.

Rob Dietz 21:27
So what you all are talking about is, ‘yeah, we can achieve things based on what we collectively have in the way of knowledge and our intellect and our ability to invent. But without that incredible power, that came from fossil fuels, we wouldn’t have gotten there. So I want to turn us to that. I want to turn us to how powerful are the fuel that we’re used to running society on. And Asher, I know you hit on this in our first episode.

Asher Miller 21:59
Yeah, it’s almost inconceivable. For example, we talked about it in our first episode, we talked about a barrel of oil as an example, right? So there’s 42 gallons in a barrel of oil. And when you actually compare that to thinking about like human labor, you know, we’re talking about the average output a person can put out, which is something like 70 watts, and you extrapolate that over the course of a full day. Basically, you take a barrel of oil, right? And if you run the numbers, it’s the equivalent of 11 years worth of human labor, right? Working full time, over 2000 hours a year, right? You get a little vacation time in there.

Rob Dietz 22:38
I wish you’d asked me. I would have been so wrong about the answer that I would have been… I would have proven myself for the idiot that I am.

Asher Miller 22:47
Nobody thinks about that! How could you possibly imagine that this thing, which by the way, is kind of, you know, ruining our chances (as burning is ruining our chances of actually inhabiting this planet) but putting that aside, how could you possibly imagine this thing is so incredibly valuable?

Jason Bradford 23:05
It’s magical.

Asher Miller 23:06
It is magic.

Rob Dietz 23:06
I knew it was really powerful. I wouldn’t have guessed 11 years. The way I knew it was powerful is… one time, my partner’s car wouldn’t start. So I was sitting in the parking lot next to the complex where I live, and the auto mechanic place was half a mile away. And so I thought, I’m not gonna… we’re not gonna tow this. We’re not gonna pay to get a tow truck. I’m just gonna push it there. These guys are laughing at me. If you could see my stick figure physique!

Asher Miller 23:40
Was that here in Corvallis?

Rob Dietz 23:41

Asher Miller 23:42
At least it was flat.

Rob Dietz 23:43
It was flat.

Asher Miller 23:43
You’ve been going to the gym.

Rob Dietz 23:44
Yeah. I mean, I’m in pretty good shape.

Asher Miller 23:46
You’re no Robert.

Rob Dietz 23:47
And this is no, this was not a Hummer. I mean, this was like a Honda Civic.

Jason Bradford 23:51
He’s Rob.

Rob Dietz 23:52
Right. Yeah. I’m Rob. Not Robert. So I get behind the car and I start pushing it. And I push it out of the parking lot onto the street and I’m like, ‘oh, shit, this isn’t gonna happen.’

Asher Miller 24:03
It’s certainly not at 25 miles per hour.

Rob Dietz 24:06
Well luckily, two friends of mine were just then coming back from CrossFit. They’re athletes. And I said, ‘hey, can you guys help me push this to the mechanic and they’re like, sure. So now there’s three of us pushing it. It’s like the hardest thing I ever did in my life. And when we got to the mechanic,…

Asher Miller 24:24
Are you sure the brake wasn’t on?

Rob Dietz 24:25
It was.. no it was in neutral. When we got to the mechanic, there was a curb cut. You know, we had to push it up the little curb cut. It was so hard!

Asher Miller 24:37
Like a rocket.

Rob Dietz 24:38
Yeah, total failure, but a very good lesson in how much power…

Jason Bradford 24:43
You’re getting a car up a curb..

Asher Miller 24:45
And if there had been even the slightest incline, forget it dude! It’s over.

Rob Dietz 24:49
We’d be dead! It would have just rolled right back over.

Asher Miller 24:51
Rolled right back over you.

Jason Bradford 24:52
And you’d be too tired to get out of the way.

Rob Dietz 24:53
So and how much gas would that have been, like a tablespoon?

Jason Bradford 24:58

Asher Miller 24:59

Jason Bradford 24:59
Well we take it completely for granted. So if you do the statistics, right, if you look at international statistics on energy use by nation, right, the US… the average per capita uses 50 barrels equivalent of oil a year per person. Yeah. And you said 11 years?

Asher Miller 25:17

Jason Bradford 25:17
Okay, in a barrel, so that’s like over 500 years of human labor.

Asher Miller 25:24

Jason Bradford 25:24
As if each of us has…

Asher Miller 25:26
Per year!

Jason Bradford 25:27
Yeah, as if there’s 500 sort of mystical people working for us that we don’t even see. And there’s no HR department they can go to if they have a complaint, right.

Asher Miller 25:36

Jason Bradford 25:36
That’s incredible.

Rob Dietz 25:37
Yeah. And I think if you actually want to question how powerful is the energy and fossil fuel, you just have to look at the way humanity has overrun the planet. I mean, it’s enabled us to take over! There’s 7.7 billion of us.

Jason Bradford 25:53
I remember, I brought up also in that first episode, there’s only about half a million great apes.

Rob Dietz 25:58
Yeah, we dominate!

Jason Bradford 26:02

Rob Dietz 26:02
And I mean, look at the landscape itself. I mean, we’re living in mega cities. We’ve got industrial farms, we’ve got factories, we’ve got roads everywhere.

Asher Miller 26:10
Well, it’s no wonder that we industrialize everything. We mechanize everything, we try to automate everything, we try to replace human labor, even though there are more of us now.

Jason Bradford 26:20

Asher Miller 26:20
Because it’s so incredibly powerful. And so incredibly cheap.

Jason Bradford 26:25
Exactly. So it’s like let’s get rid of people as much as you can. Because if you can have the fossil fuels do the work for you, why would you have a person there?

Asher Miller 26:34
That’s only true for I think corporations, right? And we’re seeing that trend with automation.

Jason Bradford 26:37
Oh, yeah.

Asher Miller 26:38
I think for most people, it’s all about living like kings and queens beyond even the imagination of kings and queens of of yesteryear, right? I mean, each of us, even ones who have, you know, a middle income quality of life, and in the Western world, live well beyond the means of anything that people could’ve possibly imagined before the age of fossil fuels.

Rob Dietz 27:02
Yeah! So it blew me away what you were talking about, again, in our first episode of… if you… you know, middle income, if you took a $45,000-a-year salary, which is about the median income in the US, you multiply it by 11 years of human labor in a barrel of oil. Yeah. 500 grand!

Asher Miller 27:22
Yeah. $500,000 is the energetic value of that barrel of oil, if you compare it to human labor.

Rob Dietz 27:29
And what do we pay? For oil?

Asher Miller 27:32
I mean, it’s varied over time, you know, it’s been as low as 20 bucks or even lower. Sometimes, up to 100. Our economy shook and shuttered and tipped into recession, you know, in 2008-2009, for other reasons, but oil prices went up $147 a barrel – that was historic highs. That really rocked the economic world.

Rob Dietz 27:54
It’s not quite $500,000, is it?

Asher Miller 27:56
No. $147. You know, now we’re hovering between whatever $40 and $80 a barrel. And that price, we’re so dependent on it being cheap, you know, it actually creates ripple waves in our economy if it changes too much, you know, too low or too high. But you compare that to $500,000 in terms of human labor equivalent?

Jason Bradford 28:06
We’ve locked into that need to have it cheap, right? Electricity too. It has got to be cheap.

Rob Dietz 28:24
It’s crazy cheap. So this one I actually know because I gotta pay the power bill. The average cost – it’s 13 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity.

Asher Miller 28:34
In the US.

Rob Dietz 28:35
Yeah, 13 cents. And a kilowatt hour, if you’re not sure of it, I mean, that’s the equivalent of a really hard day of work, not eight hours, but 15 hours.

Jason Bradford 28:48

Asher Miller 28:49
Working hard.

Jason Bradford 28:50
Working hard. Right. So yeah..

Asher Miller 28:52
We’re not talking about sitting on your computer and you know, posting things on the Facebook. Right?

Jason Bradford 28:57

Rob Dietz 28:57
But if you wanted to do that, you could, a kilowatt hour will run six laptops all day long.

Jason Bradford 29:03
So you know, if you were to pay 20 bucks an hour for 15 hours, that’s $300 right. So if you were to pay someone $300 for a day of hard work….

Rob Dietz 29:12
Yeah. And that’s not even paying them real well..

Jason Bradford 29:15
That’s decent for labor.

Asher Miller 29:17
But equivalent minimum.

Rob Dietz 29:19
13 cents! You can’t buy anything for 13 cents, let alone a whole day’s worth of labor.

Asher Miller 29:27
And so no wonder we take it for granted because it’s so damn cheap, right. It’s available to us, we flip the switch, we turn on the ignition…

Jason Bradford 29:35
What does a kilowatt hour get us now, like in our home?

Rob Dietz 29:37
Well, like I said, they’ll get you laptops for six hours, they’ll get you… let’s say you want to microwave your lunch, you could do 30 of them.

Jason Bradford 29:45
Okay, great. Great. I want to wash clothes.

Rob Dietz 29:48
You can do two loads of laundry. Well, I think that’s just the washer. Dryer is gonna be a mess.

Jason Bradford 29:56
Darn it. I’ll hang dry.

Rob Dietz 29:58
Who cares? It’s 13 cents!

Asher Miller 30:01
Sure. That’s why people don’t hang dry. Because it’s so damn cheap.

Rob Dietz 30:05
Well, you know, you just said not only is it cheap, but it’s so available, which is our fourth question, you know, how available is this stuff? And how much are we using? I think of it as being so available that you never have to think about it. I mean, think about taking a family vacation, right? Yeah, maybe you’re gonna go… I don’t know, last summer I went hiking in the mountains, right? And we did just a shitload of planning on how much food do we need per day? I guess this is your endosomatic, right?

Jason Bradford 30:35

Rob Dietz 30:36
It’s like you don’t wanna be short. So you know, you’re hiking up and down hills. You pack your food very carefully. I didn’t give really a second thought to how am I going to get to the mountains. You know you just jump in the car,…

Asher Miller 30:50
You just gonna push your car there right?

Rob Dietz 30:52
Yeah, exactly. You just drive right to where you want to go. And it’s so… it’s just there, especially, you know, I know that’s not the case for everybody all over the world. But here in the US, it’s so available. It’s just so part of our lives. And you talk about exponential growth in the economy, the exponential growth of consumption, this is all due to energy. I mean, since 1850, our energy use has increased by more than eight times per person…

Asher Miller 31:25
Per person.

And then multiplied by people.

Rob Dietz 31:28
Yeah. So we’ve had this massive change and how much energy we’re using. And it’s such a short time. It’s less than 200 years. And, you know, we think of that it’s really, really long history. But…

Jason Bradford 31:39
That’s nothing.

Asher Miller 31:39
Yeah, it’s not. And the truth is that for 99% of our history as a species, we’re actually living off of what people call solar flows or our solar income, right? We were harnessing plants and animals that eat plants and firewood and muscles, right? And our own labor and the labor of domesticated animals. That’s what we lived on. Maybe some wind for for windmills. That’s what we lived on for 99% of our history.

Jason Bradford 32:08
That gives me some comfort actually, to think that like, okay, I’m pretty soft, right? And like, I’d be scared not to have all this exosomatic energy I’m used to. But then I realize if you travel around the world, or if you think about history that – ‘wait a second, I’m really just like those other people, either my ancestors, or people in other parts of the world that don’t have 50 barrels of oil per year for them available. So I could probably survive if I had a culture around me that helped me negotiate that

Rob Dietz 32:38
Not me. I’d be dead in 10 minutes. But the crazy thing about it is that, you know, you say, well, if it were taken away, and I think a lot of people think that it’s going down, you know, oh, we’re we’re developing renewable energy…

Jason Bradford 32:52
Oh no. We’re just adding.

Rob Dietz 32:53
Yeah, it’s crazy. We have a colleague at Post Carbon, a guy named David Hughes, who studies kind of, would you say, Asher, the macro-picture of energy? You know, looking at what’s happening in the fossil fuel industry. He recently gave us the stat that 50% of fossil fuel burned since 1850 has actually been burned since 1991. So if we talk about all that we started burning in 1850…

Asher Miller 33:21
That was the year I graduated high school.

Jason Bradford 33:24
I was in college. Yeah. It’s just shocking

Rob Dietz 33:27
And 75% since 1970.

Asher Miller 33:31
Right. So in our lifetime…

Jason Bradford 33:32
I was born in ’69. So 75% of all fossil fuels have been born in basically my lifetime.

Rob Dietz 33:38
Have been burned.

Jason Bradford 33:39
Burned. Yeah, I was born but they didn’t burn.

Rob Dietz 33:41
There is a theory about fossil fuel being born in 1970. But we’re not going to buy into that one.

Asher Miller 33:47
But that I think is… and we, you know, we talked a little bit about exponential growth in a previous episode. I think the key part of this is that our use of energy over time, you know, Jason, you talked about how we’ve gone through these energy transitions. They’ve tended to be additive, right. And even though we’re adding on renewable energy, and we’re seeing dramatic growth in renewable energy right now, it’s literally just adding on. In fact, it’s not even adding on as much as fossil fuels are adding.

Jason Bradford 34:15
Yeah. Fossil fuels are growing more than renewables.

Asher Miller 34:17
And it’s just.. it has to do more people consuming more, more energy and more things, right?

Jason Bradford 34:23
Biomass, too, is more… biomass is about the same as in 1850.

Asher Miller 34:27
What do you mean by biomass?

Jason Bradford 34:28
Like wood. Like wood and like straw. So we’re using as much biomass as we did in 1850.

Rob Dietz 34:35
How much whale oil are we using today?

Jason Bradford 34:37
Not so much. We’ve declined.

Asher Miller 34:38
Yeah, we got rid of those guys.

Jason Bradford 34:40

Rob Dietz 34:41
You can’t harvest whales at that rate anymore. Well, so I think we’ve answered some of the key questions about energy literacy. But if you want to take it to the next step, there’s a concept that I think we all got to know about. And that’s energy return on investment. The basic way of thinking about that is – how much energy do you have to expend to get the energy resource that you’re that you’re looking to use? So, like back in the early days of oil, you know what did you… you just had to like take your pick axe and hit the ground and this gusher comes out.

Asher Miller 35:17
Or shoot out a squirrel right? And then… like Jed Clampett.

Jason Bradford 35:21
That was a great show.

Rob Dietz 35:24
Beverly Hillbillies.

Jason Bradford 35:24
What was the name of the daughter of Jed?

Rob Dietz 35:27
Was it… I’m gonna try Ellie Mae.

Jason Bradford 35:30
Okay. She was a great wrestler, you remember that? I remember. She was kick ass.

Rob Dietz 35:36
Well, Jason, you were a college level NCAA wrestler.

Asher Miller 35:41
That’s why you remember that.

Jason Bradford 35:42
Exactly. All my moves, I learned from her.

Asher Miller 35:46
So it’s true. In the early days of the oil industry, the returns on investment are astronomical, more than 100 to one.

Rob Dietz 35:54
Yeah, like he fires his gun at the ground, oil comes up, he’s getting like 100 barrels for every barrel that he has to spend looking for it.

Asher Miller 36:03
Yeah. And not only is it important to understand the energetic value of, like oil in this case, which is, I would say, arguably the most important source of energy that we have, including all fossil fuels. But just think about the example of animals and nature, you know, this idea of energy return on energy investment, it’s not just a financial calculation, right? You’re not just thinking about, oh, I gotta expend this amount, like people talk about ROI, you know, return on investment, you know, you spend this amount of money to get this amount of money. It’s true in all forms of energy. It’s an equation, right? So you take a cheetah, you know, that’s trying to chase down a gazelle in the African savanna, right? There’s a calculation that’s happening there. If that cheetah, for all the energy that it’s expending running 70 miles per hour to try to chase down this thing, fails too many times, it dies, right? It needs to get more energy out, not just in that one moment where it’s chasing after that gazelle and catching it. But he needs to get more energy out from that gazelle for every time before that its running failed, right? Because they fail most of the time, right?

Jason Bradford 37:14

Asher Miller 37:14
So this is just part of the physical world. And the thing that’s amazing about fossil fuels has been that the return on that is astronomical.

Rob Dietz 37:26
But that’s changing. Right? You look now, how do we get our fossil fuel? I mean, the US became the largest producer of oil and natural gas by fracking, you know, and we’re doing things like putting these drilling rigs in 3 or 4 thousand feet of water.

Asher Miller 37:43
I mean, there’s such a clear distinction between the “good old days” where you get a gusher, you know, and you can actually go look in and see these old historical photographs of these towers of oil shooting up in the sky, you know, hundreds of feet, right, all that pressure, you know, just shooting up. And now, what we’re dealing with is needing to, you know, to put billion dollar deep oil rigs in the ocean to go down 10s of thousands of feet, you know, to try to get oil from below the fucking ocean, or going up to the Boreal forests in Canada, and scraping up this bitumen, which is basically unfinished oil, you know, that we got to cook…

Jason Bradford 38:32
Goo and sand.

Asher Miller 38:33
Or fracking, which is basically going down, drilling laterally for thousands and thousands of feet, shooting a ton of water and sand and chemicals in there to blast apart these rocks to get these little tiny pockets of oil to come out. We pick the low hanging fruit.

Jason Bradford 38:50

Asher Miller 38:50
And now we’re having to go after stuff that’s harder to get and has a lower energy return.

Jason Bradford 38:55
You know, what you just described… And this is why it was easy for me to understand this is I’m a biologist, okay. So in biology, there’s an ecology, there’s what’s called optimal foraging theory. And it’s just what you said. Any organism is going to go find and locate the most energetically profitable resource first. You’re going to forage optimally, and then when that runs out, they’re going to switch. So like the cheetah goes after the Impala, the Impalas get a little rare, they have a hard time finding them. So they go off to the higher racks or whatever. The smaller animal, less abundant, but they’re still good. After a while though, if they hunt out that, then they’re going into something else like a little rat. And the next thing you know, they can’t get enough rats and the cheetah population starts crashing. As soon as you understand optimal foraging theory, everything you just said of energy return on investment, and you just look at what we’re doing as a civilization going after this crap, basically, in desperation moves, and we’re like ‘oh, we’ve unlocked this new resource.’ And we just think we’re all we’re all awesome. And I go, ‘you idiots. You’re just like, you’re following the declining quality of resource and an optimal foraging theory situation. That’s a sign of desperation. Oh, God!’

Asher Miller 40:16
But we think, because we have been for the last hundred and 50+ years, living on this bounty, we won the lottery. Right? We won the energetic lottery. Beyond the imagining of humans before us, beyond the imagining of other organisms on this planet, we won the lottery.

Jason Bradford 40:36
I picked my numbers. That came up.

Asher Miller 40:37
And we feel like.. you know, it’s kind of like somebody born on third base thinking that they hit a triple. We just feel like, we’re in this thing. It’s gonna always be here. And we’re dependent on it, in our minds, at least. We’re dependent upon this stuff being available, this stuff being cheap, this stuff being just incredibly powerful, you know.

Rob Dietz 40:58
So I love this lottery metaphor, because lottery winners tend to blow their money…

Asher Miller 41:04
It’s not a good track record.

Rob Dietz 41:06
So I was wondering, like, if we’re looking at – what are the dumb things that lottery winners spend their money on? What are the dumbest uses of energy that you guys see that make you go – ‘we are an insane species’?

Asher Miller 41:21
!Well, there are so many of them, I’ll just tell you one that kind of sticks in my craw these days. Because I’ve been seeing this, you know, here and there. It’s such an expression of where we are as a society these days. Drive up grocery stores. Okay? I mean, they have these concepts of drive-thru grocery stores where you’re like, literally driving your fucking car down the aisle.

Rob Dietz 41:42
That’s what I thought you were talking about.

Asher Miller 41:44
That’s the laziest thing ever. I mean, I think that those are probably still in the in the concept phase. But hey, right now you could do that certain Walmarts, Amazon stores have that.. like you basically go on your fucking computer, pick your nose, order toilet paper or whatever you’re doing, right? You know, bon bons or cheese doodles…

Rob Dietz 42:05
Wow, you make good orders.

Asher Miller 42:07
I’m giving you a clue… a little glimpse into my shopping. But so you order this stuff. Okay, let’s say you order some organic beef in there too. But you order this stuff and then you drive your 3000-4000 pound vehicle by yourself up to the drive thru. And some Porsche you know, schlub, some kid, or most likely you know, it’s somebody who should have retired a long time ago and can’t, right? Has to carry your shit out to you and load it up in the back of your car and you drive on, probably not even giving him a tip.

Jason Bradford 42:43
This is called progress.

Asher Miller 42:44
You don’t have to get your fat ass out of the car.

Rob Dietz 42:47
We’re making the progression to always having your butt glued to the seat of your automobile. I hope they make it so you can drive straight into your living room and…

Asher Miller 42:56
We’re not in space yet. But it’s not far from that vision of Wall-E. You know, those people sitting there basically… in that movie, you know, just sitting there with entertainment.

Jason Bradford 43:05
You give me time to think okay, and I’ve come up with one. Okay. So one of my pet peeves has been like, mini storage, right? You know, you get the roll up door and you just throw your junk in it?

Asher Miller 43:16
Because you have so much shit you can’t fit it in your house anymore?

Jason Bradford 43:18
Yeah! It’s like, oh, you know my garage isn’t big enough anymore. I’m not parking my car in the garage because there’s no space there. I’m gonna park it out front of my house and my garage is gonna fill up with shit. And then like, oh shit, my garage is filled up with shit. So now I need mini storage but it’s gone a step further. Okay, cuz now they have climate controlled.

Asher Miller 43:39
Oh good. That’s good…

Jason Bradford 43:41
…storage for your shit. Yeah, you don’t want your shit to have…

Rob Dietz 43:44
So we’re burning the oil to keep your stuff at room temperature.

Jason Bradford 43:49
That you never touch.

Rob Dietz 43:50
Well this is huge though for the Hannibal Lecters that want to keep their bodies cold and not stinking…

Asher Miller 43:57
Okay, okay, I see that.

It reminds me of…have you guys ever seen that George Carlin bit? A Place for my Stuff? Classic bit. Fantastic. Yeah, but he couldn’t even imagine when he first wrote that bit, you know, that we would be making sure that that shit was kept at this perfect optimal temperature. 63 degrees or whatever.

Rob Dietz 44:16
Yeah, you guys pick like kind of sane stuff.

Asher Miller 44:21
The sane?

Rob Dietz 44:22
The dumbest use of energy…

Jason Bradford 44:23
This is Crazy Town. What are you talking about?

Rob Dietz 44:24
The one that I found was Ski Dubai.

Asher Miller 44:28
Oh. Yeah. Those two words together don’t belong.

Jason Bradford 44:31
Where are the mountains?

Rob Dietz 44:33
No, they put this glass structure up. And they put…

Asher Miller 44:37
Wait, where’s Dubai, first of all for the geographically challenged?

Rob Dietz 44:41
In the Middle East, in the desert.

Jason Bradford 44:42
Okay, just to be clear. The Arabian Peninsula.

Asher Miller 44:45
Far from the poles. Right?

Rob Dietz 44:48
Yeah. I don’t know what the average temperature there is.

Asher Miller 44:51
Well, we’re doing a good job at raising it right.

Rob Dietz 44:52
Yeah. Yeah. We’re working on that. So they built a… sort of a glass structure and there’s a ski mountain, they make the snow from God knows what water source…

Asher Miller 45:01
The tears of children.

Rob Dietz 45:03
Yeah. They actually have penguins in there too.

Asher Miller 45:09
The penguins are just looking around like ‘what the fuck is going on?’

Jason Bradford 45:13
‘Can I go home?’

Rob Dietz 45:13
Right. So here we have…

Asher Miller 45:15
Ski Dubai. People actually ski in there?

Rob Dietz 45:17
Yeah, yeah, there are ski instructors, there’s a lift to take you to the top of Ski Dubai mountain or whatever it’s called.

Asher Miller 45:25
Ah. Delusion mountain.

Rob Dietz 45:27

Jason Bradford 45:28
I kind of want to go.

Rob Dietz 45:29
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I’m sure it’s on the bucket list of plenty of people. As long as you don’t have to get out of your car, and you can keep your ski gear in a climate controlled storage unit.

Asher Miller 45:39
Okay, that sounds like Kevin.

Rob Dietz 45:42
Well, so obviously, we’ve got some wasteful things going on. But I think we can all agree – what an incredible gift fossil fuels have been. I mean, how can you not be thankful for the amount of, you know, whatever that you said, the 500 virtual people that work for…

Jason Bradford 45:59
Oh I’ve been getting coal for Christmas for years.

Asher Miller 46:02
I will say.. I think people who are concerned about climate change or other environmental issues, they tend to think of fossil fuels (and understandably, you know) as basically imperiling the fate of humans and other species on this planet, right. So they tend to vilify fossil fuels.

Jason Bradford 46:20

Asher Miller 46:20
Again, understandably, because there is this huge cost that’s been born – not only are these sources of energy that we’ve come to be dependent upon, depleting, right?

Jason Bradford 46:31

Asher Miller 46:31
That we just talked about… they have this huge cost on human health and on the health of other species, but on our very viability of living on this planet. So I think a lot of people don’t, frankly, I would say, there are very few people who walk around thanking their lucky stars for fossil fuel, right? I mean, because if anyone’s even thinking about it, which is maybe like a couple percentage of the population, they’re probably thinking about the problems that they cause. Very, very few people are thinking about what… like we said before, a lottery, you know, winning this has been for us.

Rob Dietz 47:08
And you’ve pointed out several times this year that we really need them right now, to use fossil fuels as a way to get off of fossil fuels to make the transition to renewable energy economy.

Asher Miller 47:21
It’s such a weird paradox and contradiction.

Rob Dietz 47:24
Yeah, to me, that kind of stuff is… it’s kind of maddening – it’s the essence of Crazy Town. It’s that, here we are stuck in this system that doesn’t work, but we can’t really get out of it.

Asher Miller 47:35
But the place that we have to start is just even understanding not just the role that fossil fuels play in society, and the issues that we have, the vulnerability we have to that dependence, right? Both from the standpoint of being dependent upon something that is depleting and being dependent on something that is literally destroying our chances of living on this planet. But energy as a whole, you know, more broadly, because it’s been so abundant, because it’s been so cheap, because it’s been so easy, because it’s been so powerful, we take it for granted, you know, none of us want to be taken for granted. And we should not be taking this incredible gift that we’ve been given as a species for granted. So the first place to start is recognizing how we use energy. That’s each of us individually and us as a society, and asking questions about the fucking things that we’re wasting it on.

Rob Dietz 48:31
Yes, right. Yeah, it’s about becoming literate. Get out there. Understand why energy is important. And the level of power that’s embedded in it, you know, try toasting a piece of bread with a bicycle sometime or push your car down to your mechanic.

Asher Miller 48:47
Yeah, let us know how that goes by the way.

Jason Bradford 48:49
Spend our inheritance wisely. Right? Invest properly. Don’t just blow it.

Asher Miller 48:54
Otherwise, we’re gonna be the laughingstock of future species.

Rob Dietz 48:57
I think there should be a rule like… Let’s say you had a barrel of oil and you spilled it, then you would have to do 11 years of hard labor because that’s what you just spilled.

Asher Miller 49:07
Well I wish maybe we could do that. You don’t have to literally go and buy a barrel of oil. I don’t think you can actually go as an individual and buy a barrel of oil. That’d be an interesting test. But figuratively speaking, we’re spilling. We’re not spilling 50 barrels of oil on average, each of us here in the United States, but quite a big chunk of that is wasted. Right? So you think about that. Maybe we should think about what we could do to make up for that incredible waste.

Rob Dietz 49:32
Well, I’m gonna get on outside and start dumping over some barrels. I don’t know about you guys.

Jason Bradford 49:37
I’ll be pushing. It’s really hard.

Asher Miller 49:39
I’m gonna go be chasing gazelles and see if I have any luck. All right.

Jason Bradford 49:42
All right. See you next time on Crazy Town.

Asher Miller 49:48
That’s our show. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, please subscribe to the podcast and while you’re at it, rate or review it at iTunes. That really helps get it in front of more people. To learn more, visit postcarbon.org/crazytown. And if you want to actually learn something instead of listening to us bozos, you should check out Post Carbon Institute’s Think Resilience course. It’s four hours, 20 bucks and will seriously change the way you see the world. Catch you next time on the mean streets of Crazy Town.

Jason Bradford 50:17
Hey, guys. We have a great sponsor today.

Asher Miller 50:21
Really? Who is it?

Jason Bradford 50:21
Yeah. It’s plastic shitbox. Do you know about them Rob?

Rob Dietz 50:25
plasticshitbox.com? Yeah. I subscribe.

Jason Bradford 50:28
Why don’t you tell us about it?

Rob Dietz 50:30
Well, each month plastic shitbox will send you a box of plastic shit.

Jason Bradford 50:35
No way.

And the best part is, I think the box is plastic.

Asher Miller 50:39

Rob Dietz 50:40
Yeah. You never know what you’re gonna get in a plastic shitbox

Asher Miller 50:44
So what did you get this time?

Rob Dietz 50:45
Some plastic shit! You know what, it actually was. It was like a plastic dog shit. You know the fake stuff that you put on the rug and then people come in and they’re like ‘oh my god!’

Asher Miller 50:55
That’s awesome.

Jason Bradford 50:56
Is it a 100% plastic every time?

Rob Dietz 50:59
Yeah, well, you know, it’s really cool. So I open my plastic shitbox and I pull out the plastic dogshit and it’s wrapped in plastic. So not only did I get the shitbox plastic, I got the plastic dogshit and I got the plastic wrapper!

Jason Bradford 51:11
Did you get a micro dopamine hit on that?

Rob Dietz 51:13
Three! Three fucking plastic shitbox dopamine hits and the dopamine was wrapped in plastic too!

Asher Miller 51:22
I think they call that a pill.

Rob Dietz 51:25
Well, only if it’s wrapped in plastic.

Jason Bradford 51:27
What’s the website again?

Rob Dietz 51:28

Asher Miller 51:31
Okay how much does it cost?

Rob Dietz 51:33
You know, you don’t know cause you pay with plastic.

Asher Miller 51:35
Right, there you go. All right. So everybody, visit plasticshitbox.com and you can get your little dopamine hit today.