On Mobility (Part 6)

Courtesy of https://gallica.bnf.fr/


When we speak of mobility, the concepts of energy whether that of thermodynamics, combustion, mechanical, rotating and electrical topics will be addressed. We hear of “new energy”, often and perhaps exhaustingly so. Energy is by modern definition “Capacity for performing work.” In earlier times this concept was addressed more humbly. Energy was spoken of in a more delicate manner. Although the term monad was already in use by Greek philosophers, meaning “the smallest units of matter,” or in other contexts meaning “God” or “first being,” it’s perhaps best known as a concept of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716), a German scientist and philosopher.

Architecture of c. 1840s


Yes, I am asking the question and we will come back to this, but for now lets move forward toward the interdependence of energy and sustenance, yes food. As a reminder, our modern flourishment has been relatively rapid. This flourishment of people, of things and of abundance of energy, one may may argue, a result of demographic and knowledge of an exponential increase. The changes in quality of soil amendments happened slowly then suddenly. Fertilizers are an efficiency mechanism, they increase a plant’s ability to use and store energy. Guano and Caliche we are told were the primary sources of fertilizer until the late 1800s.

Lets Talk About Food and . . . Guano

What is “guano”? This substance refers to the natural mineral deposits consisting of excrements, eggshells and carcasses of dead seabirds found in almost rainless, hot-dry climatic regions and the corresponding fertilizers created from them. Guanos are classified according to age, genesis, geographical origin and chemical composition. Main types are nitrogen-and phosphate Guanos. Phosphate Guanos require a calcareous subsoil for the development, while nitrogen Guanos are formed only under the special climatic conditions of the subtropical-edge tropical high pressure belt with coastal deserts. The most significant nitrogen Guano is the Peru-Guano, which has been used over 2000 years as agricultural fertilizer in Peru. In Europe the application of Guano as fertilizer emerged in the 1840 as “Guano boom” and lasted until the early twentieth century when Guano was replaced by industrial manufactured fertilizers. Guano was one of the most highly sought substances in the world for fertilizer. Guano is a store of energy.


Caliche was utilized In the Atacama desert of Chile, the largest natural reservoir of fixed nitrogen exists. The material is called Caliche, rich in sodium nitrate. By the 1800s this was one of the greatest money making areas of the world. Today, the vast factories and process systems stand dormant and the towns like Humberstone, are ghost towns.

Humberstone, Chile

Fritz Haber & Carl Bosch; The Haber-Bosch Process

The significant process responsible for the increase of population is the Haber-Bosch process. In 1999 in the journal Nature, author and scientist Vaclav Smil writes:

The Haber-Bosch Process
  1. Natural gas and water supply the hydrogen and the energy needed to heat the reactants.
  2. Iron is the catalyst and does not get used up
Fritz Haber standing next to a diagram of the process engineering.
Fritz Haber with Chaim Weizmann c. 1933

Carl Bosch

Carl earned a Doctorate in Organic Chemistry at The University of Leipzig in 1898. Carl’s uncle Robert invented the spark plug and the company in existence today, Bosch. In 1908 Carl met Fritz Haber and began to work out the designs for creating the pressure vessels to industrialize Fritz Haber’s work on a massive scale. In modern times many like to believe that refining is very new, beginning a few decades before the second World War. The fact is that the very first refinery, according to our records, is the Rafov Refinery in Ploiesti, Romania. So contrary to the what many believe, Carl Bosch had decades of metallurgical advancements to build on.

Carl Bosch and BASF

BASF hired Carl Bosch in 1899. Then from 1909 until 1913 he transformed Fritz Haber’s tabletop demonstration of a method to fix nitrogen using high-pressure chemistry through the Haber–Bosch process to produce synthetic nitrate, a process that has countless industrial applications for making a near-infinite variety of industrial compounds, consumer goods, and commercial products. His primary contribution was to expand the scale of the process, enabling the industrial production of vast quantities of synthetic nitrate. To do this, he had to construct a plant and equipment that would function effectively under high gas pressures and high temperatures.

Population Boom

It has been 171 years since J.C. Nesbit’s lectures on guano. There have been a number of changes, but one thing has not changed. People require a caloric intake in order to survive. Since that time we have seen population increases the world over. In 1850 the world population was estimated (not sure exactly the method) to be 1.2 Billion. By 1950 the world population was 2.5 Billion , by 1970 3.5 Billion, by 1990 5.3 Billion and in 2022 the estimated world population is 7.8 Billion.

Henry Kissinger and Richard M. Nixon c. 1972

Lets talk about Energy 2002 — 2022

The ‘End of Oil’ Meme

Economist c. 2003
2014 article
Stan Meyer and the water-powered car.
EIA report 2019
Image: $5/gal gasoline

Planned Destruction or Market Economics

How does the United States of America go from a net exporter of oil to a supply bottleneck and complete mess in such a short time? In April of 2020 during “the pandemic” the commodity price of oil went negative. Yes essentially you would be PAID to take delivery of oil, not PAY for oil.

BBC article April 21, 2020


So we have two elements above.

  1. Fuel is required to supply this process, mainly in the form of natural gas. Oil and coal are also used to supply the raw materials included in the refining process which contributes to fertilizer production.
Henry Kissinger, co-author of the NSSM 200 paper.


So several observations may be made regarding the above information and it is not the intent to guide anyone to these observations. One may encourage others to continue to “observe and report” as we say in the Quality Assurance industry. We “do not direct work”, only provide the information. If you, your family, friends and acquaintances have lost confidence in institutions, authority figures and past ‘idols’ . . . welcome to the club. Now it is time to gather the tools for survival, lets take a look at those components.

Destroy and Rebuild . . . or Prepare

We are not the ‘Kissingers’ of the world. As George Carlin said:

(above) George Carlin: American comedian
“Antifragile” by N.N. Taleb

Securing Resources

There are many ways to become anti-fragile as Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes in his work and you don’t have to be an incredible power lifter and mathematics professor at an Ivy League University . . . but it helps.

(above) Excerpt from the Ancel Keys experiment.
(above) A Boy Scout Manual
(above) A Swiss Army knife
(above) A mountain bicycle
(above) Still shot from “Enter The Dragon” starring Bruce Lee c. 1973
(above) depiction of family and friends
(above) Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Next Steps

As I have stated, some of the events coming our way are out of control. The ones that are within our control will help us focus on “what can I do”, build confidence and pave the way toward freedom. Mobility is limited when we are controlled physically or mentally, when resources are scarce, when war is ongoing, when crime is rampant, when fear within the population is prevalent and freedoms are subrogated to Government. We have to work with the reality around us and build operational security. Lets discuss this further and create resiliency.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Agile Quality International

Agile Quality International

I am an industrial worker, I hold certificates and have worked across the nation.