Oh dear, we have had the hornets nest poked with a stick? Lol.
The last post has gotten up to the 55 comments which begins to become a bit clumsy. So, to continue the current discussion and still leave open comments on the election today, I am offering some comments on the last post. I find the last post comments to be stimulating and hope that continues.
For Rockpicker and Truthseeker’s latest comments on energy production. I will offer these comments.
Unless I am not understanding the implications, all of the over unity systems I have read about, they are to produce electricity. I for one, cannot dispute the validity of the claims. I don’t have the facilities, time or money to explore and either dispute or validate the claims. To be honest about it, I would love to be able to. However, if it is true that we are running out of carbon resources, (oil, coal, gas), regardless of how we produce electricity, the impact on society will be enormous. If we remove cheap readily available oil, then we also remove all plastic technology, most of food production methodology, most metals production, and a host of other means of satisfying our complex modern civilization’s needs. Production of electricity will not replace that part of our living infrastructure. I doubt that there would be areas of transportation where electricity could be substituted either, ships and planes for starters.
My next question is how much other energy sources, oil and gas in particular; would it take to change over to a new method of electrical production and utilization? I would submit that to do so would use a huge amount of however much is left to exploit which means that other uses would have to be sacrificed. Then the question becomes what we will do without while we make the change over, even if we stipulate that there is enough left to accomplish it, and that there is sufficient time left.
Personally, I would like to see a better method of producing electricity than we have now. But I don’t think it would solve very many of our current problems in the future resulting from resource depletion, especially in the realm of energy. Kunstler’s book, The Long Emergency has some things to say on this subject. It may very well be true that there is no immediate lack of energy and the scare tactics concerning peak oil is a hype job. There may be actual validity to the Russian contention that oil is produced by the earth’s core. I read much on the arguments concerning oil, its formation and extraction. We either believe that this earth has limited resources or that it has inexhaustible resources as a basic premise, and a premise it is since we are unable to prove either side except in hindsight. If the future shows that resources (particularly oil) are inexhaustible, then I would contend that we have misused them incredibly. If they are limited, we have followed a fool’s path. In my quest for data on oil, it appears to me that the data I have seen is pretty solid with a margin for error. I do think that oil is a non renewable resource, (at least in terms of mankind’s lifespan) and I think that oil in particular, will become too expensive in terms of energy expenditure to extract. That is, using a barrel of oil to extract a barrel of oil is a zero result game. It also appears to me that new pools of energy discovery has also hit a zenith. I am very reluctant to bet that this is not so.
Personally, I am very reluctant to bow down to the concept that technology will save modern civilization, even if there was a will to actually do so. We have had the technology to avoid what appears to be happening currently, and it was not utilized. From the simple Pogue carburetor in the 40’s right up to the present. As the comments observed, there have been many technological innovations that were smothered by those that stood to lose by their utilization. I rather suspect we can expect more of the same until this whole system collapses. If/when that happens, it may be way too late to utilize these innovations. Our whole system is driven by profits and growth. Until that changes, anything that threatens the big boys power and wealth generation will be suppressed. . It sure appears to me that technology is what has gotten us into the current situation. I do not expect it to get us out of it.
John Michael Greer is an interesting personality. I have been following him for some time. I could not contradict that he sure enough appears to be an intellectual, arrogant snob. That does not make him either right or wrong in his arguments. He has taken a swipe or two at me when I have put up comments on his blog. A long time ago I also had that accusation thrown at me by a man I considered having a fence post mentality.
It seems obvious to me that Greer spends an enormous amount of time reading and studying a very wide range of materials. Again, that alone does not either validate or invalidate his conclusions. I have spent a fairly large chunk of my life around similar personalities. I found them stimulating, irritating, occasionally infuriating, and often enough proved right. Consequently, I read Greer for his nuggets of perception and not to either reject or become a disciple of his thoughts. We have on this blog people with great passion for one or another position on a great many subjects. We do not have crystal balls to peer into the future; we have only current and past data with which we make conjecture about the future.
I agree with Ras and her comments about finding a virtually free (or very cheap) source of electrical energy, or any energy source for that matter. Unless the system of endless growth and profits is changed, we will make this planet uninhabitable sometime in the future. That is, unless we want to contend that human kind can exist separate from the environment. But, at this time, living in a moon type of environment is not my idea of a way to live and I suspect that it wouldn’t work anyway despite the science fiction ideas around that. I further suspect that genetically there is a limit to human adaptability to a radically different environment, regardless of being able to create an artificial environment as a temporary expediency, like living on the moon or Mars. Besides, there is some sparse evidence around that says that the moon and Mars were once inhabited. If this is an actuality of the past, we can then conclude one of two things. Either those inhabiting other planets in our solar system were completely different than humans, or, the ecology/environment of those planets has changed dramatically. For me, I spend little time on that speculation. We got enough serious problems on our own rock ball to contend with.