Huseng wrote:As I understand it alternative energy sources like solar and wind cannot produce the same level of energy as fossil fuels do (particularly oil) and moreover there are hidden energy subsidies in such power sources (think of all the machinery, oil and infrastructure which goes into building a single solar panel from the trucks to the asphalt roads to the food fed to the workers).
There's also the invisible subsidy of social complexity which is a direct result of fossil fuel use. A barrel of oil is equal to about eleven years of human labour as I recall, which means that a lot of people are freed from food production for other professions such as developing solar panel technology. Without fossil fuels it is impossible that we could sustain, let alone develop (important for the third world), our current level of complexity.
We could live much much simpler lifestyles with small wind turbines on the roof, but that would mean having a limited electricity supply which was unstable. But countries like the US and her client states would rather pillage oil rich nations than willingly sacrifice and simplify. India and China are dependent on growing standards of living for their stability.
Change will come, but it won't be comfortable. Every single drop of affordable oil will be pumped and burned because our entire industrial civilization depends on it and the alternative is destitution.
Huseng wrote:Oil consumption and climate change go hand in hand.
If we keep using oil (which we will), the planet cooks.
The economics and politics behind oil are crucial to understanding how climate change will play out on the human level.
Jnana wrote:Some recent broadcast media programs:
Bill Moyers & Company: Naomi Klein on Capitalism and Climate Change
PBS Frontline: Climate of Doubt
Btw, I do appreciate the efforts you've made Kim, to clarify the issues involved in climate change here and on Dhamma Wheel.
Humans must immediately implement a series of radical measures to halt carbon emissions or prepare for the collapse of entire ecosystems and the displacement, suffering and death of hundreds of millions of the globe’s inhabitants, according to a report commissioned by the World Bank. The continued failure to respond aggressively to climate change, the report warns, will mean that the planet will inevitably warm by at least 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, ushering in an apocalypse.
Huseng wrote:Here's a good piece by Chris Hedges on the recent World Bank report on climate change:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/sta ... _20121126/Humans must immediately implement a series of radical measures to halt carbon emissions or prepare for the collapse of entire ecosystems and the displacement, suffering and death of hundreds of millions of the globe’s inhabitants, according to a report commissioned by the World Bank. The continued failure to respond aggressively to climate change, the report warns, will mean that the planet will inevitably warm by at least 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, ushering in an apocalypse.
Meanwhile several governments and big companies are organizing themselves for oil extraction in the Arctic...
viniketa wrote:Urine-powered generator unveiled at international exhibition
While this is more of an outstanding science project than a viable invention at this point, it serves to demonstrate that there might be new developments in the production of energy in the near future that we cannot imagine at this point.
greentara wrote:Massive, burgeoning population is the elephant in the room that governments refuse to discuss openly. ... The powers that be pretend to sound green but the first thing they do is 'pull the rug' on solar rebates to placate the interests of the huge electricity companies. It's hard to be optimistic with the insatiable corporate sector running the show.
Huseng wrote:If we want to know who to blame for climate change and corporate takeover of government, we need only look in the mirror.
We are this season’s people.
We are all the people there are, this season.
If we blow it, it’s blown.
— Shlomo Carlebach
greentara wrote:Of course I agree with you. There has to be a groundswell of protest, opposition and a complete change of consumption habits. Of course if you stick your neck out, all we have to do is look at Assange’s ordeal which made headlines again recently. He had some powerful backers who have all but disappeared. He is unwell, trapped and seems to have been abandoned. The whole situation makes many thoughtful people nervous.
Kim O'Hara wrote:And if we want to know who can - and should - do something about it, we only need to look in the mirror.
greentara wrote:kim, Thanks I know all about Rachel Carson and the Tree sitter in Tasmania.
greentara wrote:The moment you raise your voice against the banks and the big end of town, they'll shut you down very fast!
greentara wrote:Huseng is spot on "still need to ask India, China and Indonesia among other up and coming nations to do the same, which is politically infeasible because stability depends on industrialization and the elites maintain their positions by pushing economic growth."
(From the Comments to http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/11/climatedialogue-exploring-different-views-on-climate-change/)RealClimate wrote:Superman1 wrote: “To dodge the major impending climate catastrophe that we project today, harsh restrictions on energy use by all global citizens will be required”
That is just plain false.
Photovoltaic panels installed on all the flat commercial rooftops in the USA would generate more electricity than all the nuclear power plants in the country. Concentrating solar thermal power plants on just five percent of the USA’s deserts would generate more electricity than the entire country uses. The same is true of the wind energy resources of just four midwestern states.
And those examples represent just a small fraction of the USA’s vast solar and wind energy resources. According to a study by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, “At least three-fifths of the fifty states could meet all their internal electricity needs from renewable energy generated inside their borders.”
The fact is that we have abundant, endless sources of energy, and we have the mature and powerful technologies needed to harvest those sources, and those technologies are getting more powerful and less expensive every day.
Moreover, because we waste so much energy, we have an enormous opportunity to get more utility out of the energy we consume simply by implementing the most obvious and lowest-cost efficiency measures.
I don’t know why you insist on pretending otherwise. Frankly, your comments often read like coal industry propaganda of the sort designed to discourage people from supporting action to reduce emissions by scaring them with “if we stop burning coal we’ll all have to shiver in the dark and live in caves” alarmism.
Comment by SecularAnimist
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