Thursday, April 05, 2007

Energy in the news

Since I missed most humanities courses in school and stuck with technical stuff, I have to listen to CBC as much as possible in case I get to hear an author's name and it sticks in my head. It comes in handy in other ways too.

This week on The Current, they've been all over climate change. (It's probably part of a conspiracy which will lead to vast wealth for them, like most CBC employees.) On Tuesday, they covered "Food Security". This featured a speaker who pointed out that corn prices are reaching their oil equivalent. This means that the market is already adjusting to a scarcer oil supply while most people aren't even aware of the looming problem. He points out a couple other things: the war in Darfur is caused by a clash of herders forced off their land by the expansion of the Sahara, and the farmers on the more fertile land further south. Also (you may have heard this one), that the corn needed to fill one tank of an SUV with ethanol fuel could feed a person for a year. That's probably one of those slightly manipulated statistics, but it gives a good sense of what we're dealing with here.

Listen to Part 2, Food Security.

If your preferred medium is video, swing on over to the oil drum for some talking heads. The quote that stands out is from Matt Simmons, an oil industry expert and investor (he has said he invests in small infrastructure companies, since there's going to be a lot of drilling in the near future.) Matt Simmons says:
"The best new oil basin we will ever find is the one called 'conservation.'"
Interesting. But, how?


Darren J 4/05/2007 01:04:00 p.m.


That corn which strips soil of resources much in the way of cotton has replaced barley production to the extent that something like less than
1/4 of barley production remains and the US in now a net importer rather than an exporter of barley provides a hint of what we are in for. Marginal lands won't tolerate corn for long before desertification sets in. It is the dirty 30s all over again. Barley (if memory serves) introduces nitrogen to soil. This is important in dealing with NOx produced by - yes, the motorvehicles that will produce it from corn more than fossil fuels as long as people continue to buy into buying cages.
Keep that in mind, if you don't already, when you see our gov't's promotional ads for ethanol on t.v. That's our 'so-called' leader's big move to save us.

It's always about new technology, because that's an easy sell ... compared to the real fundamental behavioural change that is needed throughout society. What politician has the backbone to talk about that?
Welp, it's not only an easy call but it's profit-focused. However, I don't think they realize they're not tapping a real psychological societal need to "help." Of course, we may have devolved to the point that people are too afraid to sacrifice (thinking of "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" - people will band together in tough times *if* they think it will work, but if they are afraid they'll be taken advantage of...)
I'm thinking that a smart group of people should plan, ahead of time, a serious conservation campaign. A "don't buy gas for a week" campaign with websites and resources and ways to do it... and then wait for an opportunity like, say, sailors being captured. Ted Koppel said that incident made prices go up, and that making prices go down would get them released. If there'd been a plan have prepared, then the viral emails with links could have been out there with a "Don't Buy Gas Until They're Free!"
Welp, that chance is gone, but there will be another. Can we get ready for it?

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