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free energy consequences (was: oil from garbage)

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  • R. Walter
    ... Who said anything about economic catastrophe? What would happen is that energy becomes more expensive and people have to think more about their daily trips
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 25, 2003
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      >
      > I find it troubling that so
      > many people on this list are
      > disturbed by technological
      > development that, on its
      > face, does something quite
      > good. Or by the possibility
      > that energy will get cheaper
      > in the future. Personally, I
      > don't want to eliminate
      > cars. Nor do I want to live
      > in a car-free city as the
      > consequence of some economic
      > catastrophe. What a perverse
      > hope! Would that really make
      > any of you happier?

      Who said anything about economic catastrophe?
      What would happen is that energy becomes more expensive and people have to
      think more about their daily trips and if their wasteful mode of
      transportation is really necessary. We take too much for granted. What I
      haven't seen yet is a definitive study that calculates if there is enough
      energy (sunlight) falling on the earth daily to make up for the fossil fuel
      energy we'll eventually lose, adjusting for the population growth and food
      needs for everyone. I think finding out that energy is limited will make us
      structure our society better, instead of planning for a free-energy future
      as we do now. (sprawl).

      I'm not disturbed by technological development. I'm not a luddite. I think
      it would be great if people all became scientists and artists and did
      something useful instead of working for corporations which manufacture
      desire or useless junk. I just don't like "free" energy. I'd rather see a
      good life through conservation than abundant energy. I'd rather see cars
      eliminated for transportation in the cities, and reserve the energy use for
      necessities like deliveries and food or special occasions. You don't HAVE
      to have a car for a good life. There are always other options and the world
      would be a better place without the personal vehicle, IMHO.

      >I want
      > to live in a city where
      > walking is safe, convenient,
      > and the dominant way of
      > getting about because that
      > is a better way for people
      > to live.

      That would be really nice, wouldn't it? I'd like that too. Why is it that
      we aren't doing it? It's not because we can't, or don't see how pretty
      car-free cities like Venice are, it's because the majority of people like
      their cars, and like to be comfortable and like to get to their destinations
      in a hurry. I ride a bike, but I make far fewer trips than when I had a
      car. I acknowledge my own human tendency to do what's convenient and know
      that the average Joe is going to not chose to be inconvenienced. Do you
      ever talk to the average person and try to suggest they give up their car?
      What is their reaction? I'm being realistic - the only way that we as a
      society are going to appreciate how much we *waste* and consume, is if we
      hit an energy bottleneck. I'm sick of the way that we pave and sprawl over
      our surroundings, and I'd welcome higher prices for everything, including
      gasoline. Where I live, the suburbs aren't even required to have sidewalks
      along major streets (state), and most don't have them. There is no other
      earth and we're crowding everything out. Do you want humans to live in a
      Blade Runner future? As the Easter Islanders
      http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/dept/d10/asb/origins/eastersend.html have shown,
      we can't seem to correct our collective mistakes. What do you propose would
      be a solution that everyone will agree to pay for and why hasn't it happened
      yet?

      Last year there was a t.v. show which was an offshoot of the x-files, I
      forgot what it was called. I was half-watching an episode once where an
      inventer had created a car that ran on water. In the end, someone made the
      decision to destroy the invention instead of giving it to the world because
      it would do more harm than good. I was shocked to see this idea emanating
      from a mainstream t.v. show, but whoever wrote the episode had the right
      idea - virtually "free" energy is not good, because we can't control
      ourselves.

      Rita
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