Saturday, 7 February 2009

Burning Man

Renewable energy, - if it is to be resilient enough to manage the transition from carbon based mass consumption to a sustainable future - must be accessed through a technology based on materials in plentiful supply. There's no point basing it on kryptonite or on materials that are prohibitively costly to access or convert. There is only so much platinum (or uranium, for that matter) to go around.
The idea that we can carry on regardless and simply substitute another power source for our present ones is foolish in the extreme. Carbon was a once-only offer. The party's over.

Energy is an expression of labour and time. What human or horse muscle can achieve in an hour pales beside the work rate of carbon fuelled engines. We have created a global culture that is entirely dependent on more labour and more time than is available without burning fossil fuels. When the fossil fuels are no longer available, and the alternatives prove inadequate to the immense and wasteful scale of our chosen way of life - how will the powerful seek to satisfy their "needs" for additional labour and time? In the time honoured tradition -of enslavement and conquest? How will the powerful deal with those who compete with them for labour and time? In the time honoured tradition of enslavement and conquest.
We are a predictable species, by and large (give or take the odd black swan moment)

There is no alternative energy source that can meet our "need" to have our cake and eat it too.
Reduce. Re-use. Recycle

One might add - Re-Design


susan said...

A little off topic but since you are a wordsmith thought you might enjoy this from re Republicans and Obama:

"Republicans have nothing to lose. ... will gladly torpedo their own brand if it means taking Obama down with them. They are dangerous to him, in the way that
a gang of rabid velociraptors is dangerous to a T-Rex."

Your image reminded me that gyms/exercise machines could be hooked up to generators, if only transmission and storage could be worked out.

Rachel in California said...

Energy-dense carbon allows the powerful to consume more energy than they generate, replacing enslavement and conquest.

So, when the carbon is not available, will the powerful turn back to enslavement and conquest--or will the rest of us somehow manage to unpower the the power holders?

We don't need to burn them for biofuels; just insist that they pedal their own cycles. It's going to be an interesting ride.