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9582Re: permanent energy crisis

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  • mauk_mcamuk
    Feb 17, 2006
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      Hmmm. An interesting discussion here, I think. :)

      >--- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
      > >We'll just shift to something else. Likely, a mix of wind, hydro
      > >nuclear, with various "new" hydrocarbons tossed in around the
      > Well, yes, but the total capacity of the system is likely to
      > be quite a lot less than what we have become used to.

      Well, maybe, but I think that quite unlikely. A lot of this revolves
      around what you call the system, you see. :)

      Americans right now use very large amounts of energy, but part of
      that is due to the rise of the car culture, something that is really
      only about 40-odd years old. Another large part is the sheer SIZE of
      the place: America, despite our huge population, is a pretty sparse
      place. It takes a good, flexible long-distance travel system to keep
      the place running, and highways with trucks on them are surprisingly
      efficient at it.

      But in many ways, America's situation is an aberration. Europe also
      has high energy usage, but much lower than America's, due mostly to
      the fact that Europe is quite a lot smaller and more densely
      populated than the USA is.

      Denser = less cars needed.

      However, a VERY large part of the worlds population is forced to
      subsist on VERY little energy at all, with the worst being in Sub-
      Saharan Africa and such places. If we are serious about making the
      world a better place, I think we should strive to make ALL the world
      a better place. Massive inequities in energy are the root drivers of
      much of the conflict in the world today, and put simply, it doesn't
      have to be that way.

      Wind power is nearly proliferation-proof and ubiquitous. Hydro-power
      is far more limited, unless you accept very large infrastructure
      costs. Nuclear power is hugely abundant, but is saddled with decades
      of lies, propaganda, and misconceptions (more due to Cold War
      hysteria than fact) that will take some time to reverse.

      Those three power sources, used together and tied to a massively
      upgraded grid, could provide at least European levels of energy usage
      to pretty much the entire world. The total capacity of such a system
      would be LARGE, but is quite doable.

      Indeed, one hopeful step toward such a system is the recent GNEP
      initiative kicked off in the US:


      The task that faces us is how to take this inevitable sea-change (the
      end of cheap oil and the associated societal changes it will drive)
      and ensure that car-free concepts get included in the new, better,
      cleaner ways of doing things.

      Thus, why I write my Congress-critters on a fairly regular basis. :D

      > >We should be presenting Carfree Cities as BETTER than our current
      > >cities, and be able to cite facts and figures as to WHY.
      > exactly
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