Can Alternative Energy Save Us? In Time?
I guess the real question is: Could have Alternative Energy saved us? The answer is, Yes had we started in time. Why am I so despondent on this issue and just what am I talking about? The reasons are many but mainly it’s looking more and more like little is going to be done to make the transition to clean (read that carbon neutral or carbon negative) energy producing technologies. Government talks change then continues with “business as usual” behavior. The “Alternative Energy Industry” is doing what it can but the progress is painfully slow. In earlier days I might have reported on a company, Sheerwind that has come up with an interesting new wind generator that generates power at lower wind speeds. I also might have brought to you attention that scientists have discovered that we can generate electricity with graphene sheets one atom thick. So what? You say. There’s plenty of oil and coal left and time to make the change when we need to. That would be true except for the elephant sitting on your lap. Of course, I’m referring to the climate extremes issue that has been caused by our altering the chemistry of the atmosphere by utilizing carbon based fuels to power our Industrial Civilization. We’ll adapt, many say, just like Rex Tillerson the CEO of Exxon-Mobil.
Does that make any sense?
That makes no sense to me. Does that make any sense to you? As a species wouldn’t it make more sense to change the behavior that places us in dire straights. I mean face it. The coal and oil will run out. Our global financial situation is based on oil and is starting to unravel as I write. Human population has overshot the planets ability to support us sustainably and adapting means that a lot of people are going to die regardless of what we do in any vain attempt to adapt. Unusually large hurricanes and tornadoes are ravaging people today as are droughts and flooding. (presently Germany is experiencing a five hundred year flood) but lets keep burning all the oil and coal that we can bring to market. Lets keep fracking to get at previously recoverable natural gas and shale oil. Lets scrape the earth to get tar sands that have a pitifully poor return on energy invested vs energy retrieved. No, lets don’t look beyond tomorrow to provide a better world for our species, lets commit suicide. Sadly that’s exactly what we in all probability have done. And for what? To keep the system chugging along for a few more years and the money flowing to the wealthy?
I have written about this before, but in a few short months more information has come out and again Dr. McPherson brings it to our attention.
We can’t even say we didn’t know!
No matter what anyone says scientists have known for a long time that tinkering with our planets climate has consequences. The problem here is that it’s not scientists who make the big energy policy decisions. It’s the Congress and the President or more accurately the transnational corporations that have usurped that authority.
So, when things get rough and the climate get less reliable and the dread that haunts me starts haunting you just remember that, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, “We could have saved the earth but we were too damn cheap”