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June 24, 2005

What a Long Strange Trip It's Going To Be

Prof. Goose here.  Dear Kleinians, you've been great. 

I hope you've seen from my posts that the issue of petroleum's imminent peak of supply matters and will matter more and more to your lives over time. 

I also hope you'll continue learning about this complex topic at the many news sources available (e.g., peakoil.com, energybulletin.net, flyingtalkingdonkey.blogspot.com) or even come by The Oil Drum (and add us to your blogrolls, if you are so inclined...) and pull up a comment box sometime.

Truth be told, I had planned a couple more posts, but we're having blogger problems over at the home base that need my attention.  And, I still have my headache to boot.

So, what I will prepare for you below the fold is a discussion of alternate energy sources and how they will likely not be enough to solve the problems of our dependence on petroleum and its wonderful energy density or EROEI (energy returned on energy invested).

You see, petroleum is the best, safest, and easiest source of energy on the planet.  It takes a lot of energy to make our life as easy as it is.  More than you would think.  The work that gets done by forces other than by muscle power of some animate being takes some source of energy.  This is a fact that we often overlook.

There's a lot of energy sources out there.  Nuclear is probably the next best alternative, but it has accumulated such a stigma in the US (and then there's that pesky "what do we do with the waste" problem) that it's likely we will not see a nookewler plant built in the US until oil gets much more expensive.  NIMBY.  NIMBY.  NIMBY.  And they take a long time to build too.

Many other sources are in their prototype stage.  Developments are being made, yes.  And that's positive.  However, most of them are not scaleable into our economy, and they're nowhere close to being ready.

If this topic interests you and you want to learn more, I have some recommendations.

Green Car Congress
The Energy Blog
Odograph
Emerald City Commentary
Stephen Gloor

If you want to learn more about sustainable development, lifestyles, global warming, and enivronmental alternatives (which we at TOD endorse wholeheartedly)...I would suggest:

Grist

Worldchanging
Treehugger
sustainablog

In closing, what we need to avoid peak oil is (stolen from Matt Savinar):

1.  A few dozen technological breakthroughs,
2.  Unprecedented political will and bipartisan cooperation,
3.  Tremendous international collaboration,
4.  Massive amounts of investment capital,
5.  Fundamental reforms to the structure of the international banking system,
6.  No interference from the oil-and-gas industries,
7. About 25-50 years of general peace and prosperity to retrofit the world's $45 trillion dollar per year economy, including transportation and telecommunications networks, manufacturing industries, agricultural systems, universities, hospitals, etc., to run on these new sources of energy,
8.  A generation of engineers, scientists, and economists trained to run a global economy powered by new sources of energy. 

All I can say about this topic is this:  the more you know, the better off you will be.

June 24, 2005 in Energy | Permalink

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» A Farewell Post from CommonSenseDesk
Prof. Goose has been guest blogging at Ezra's this last week. [Read More]

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Comments

And the chance of all 8 of those things coming together in harmony to change our world and avert economic collapse is about 1 in 1 million.

...So you're saying there's a chance!

Nice work this week. I've enjoyed learning about the Peak Oil phemonenon. Thanks for contributing!

Posted by: Adrock | Jun 24, 2005 1:20:41 PM

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Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 9:37:35 PM

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