A Story from Grist Magazine
- I thought you might be interested in this feature in Grist Magazine:
Take a Peak, by Amanda Griscom Little. An interview with peak-oil provocateur Matthew Simmons.
- For those who don't believe we have peaked out already on oil supply,
there's really even more urgency to reduce burning oil for the purpose
of slowing accelerating global warming. That is to preserve the
safety of our climate from catastrophic global warming:
Both problems have approximately the same solution however. Simmons
hits the nail on the head in that respect, but the nail won't sink
into the American mindset unless the president greases it with a
speech to the nation. That is unlikely to happen any time soon, of
Quote from Grist interview with peak-oil provocateur Matthew Simmons:
There's nothing we can do to solve our problems, but everything we do
that helps is a bridge to buy us time. Ultimately, we have to actually
create some new forms of energy that don't exist today. Solar and wind
are, of course, electricity, so not helpful near-term on the
transportation front, which is the most intractable part of the
problem. Biofuels need to be intensely examined, but corn-based
ethanol is a scam because it requires such intensive oil inputs.
What about the shift to hybrid engines and, ultimately, hydrogen?
There are some 220 million cars currently on the road in the U.S.
alone. The problem with that concept, which so many people think is
the way you end the energy war, is it will take 30 years to turn over
the entire vehicle fleet. We don't have 15 or 20 years, much less 30.
We need to think on a grander scale. We have to find, for instance,
far more energy-efficient methods of transporting products by rail and
ship rather than trucks. We have to liberate the workforce from
office-based jobs and let them work in their village, through the
modern technology of emails and faxes and video conferencing. We have
to address the distribution of food: Much of the food in supermarkets
today comes from at least a continent or two away. We need to return
to local farms. And we have to attack globalization: As energy prices
soar, manufacturing things close to home will begin to make sense again.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, rickrise@e... wrote:
> I thought you might be interested in this feature in Grist Magazine:
> Take a Peak, by Amanda Griscom Little. An interview with peak-oil
provocateur Matthew Simmons.
- --- Mike Neuman <mtneuman@...> wrote:
[...] but the
> nail won't sinkYEAH, sure, a greasey Texan could HELP here BUT at the
> into the American mindset unless the president
> greases it with a
> speech to the nation. [...]
same time there are mid-term elections coming up
relatvely soon and if the opposition has a united
voice on this it could also help... I also prefer a
different metaphor than a coffin for the "American
mindset"... how about a plant that requires fertilizer
and water (if only drip-irrigation)?
> Quote from Grist interview with peak-oil provocateurconcept, which so many
> Matthew Simmons: [...] The problem with that
> people think isYEAH, and the car companies themselves are now saying
> the way you end the energy war, is it will take 30
> years to turn over
> the entire vehicle fleet. We don't have 15 or 20
> years, much less 30.
a widespread workable hydrogen scheme cant happen at a
technical level for 20 years anyway, so this would
mean at least 50 years if added to the 30 figure...
[...]Simmons: We need to think on a grander scale. We
> find, for instance,THE problem here is that the major international
> far more energy-efficient methods of transporting
> products by rail and
> ship rather than trucks. We have to liberate the
> workforce from
> office-based jobs and let them work in their
> village, through the
> modern technology of emails and faxes and video
> conferencing. We have
> to address the distribution of food: Much of the
> food in supermarkets
> today comes from at least a continent or two away.
> We need to return
> to local farms. And we have to attack globalization:
> As energy prices
> soar, manufacturing things close to home will begin
> to make sense again.
associations involved in promoting rail
<www.uic.asso.fr> and public transport <www.uitp.com>
are going on and on about soaring demand for
long-distance cargo and personal mobility as
acceptable symptoms and rights of our supposedly free,
Their solution is more freight rail, sometimes
connected with sea cargo (for example a development of
the water route from Boston to Norway then by rail on
to Russia and China) and more long-distance passenger
rail, especially in Europe, with less priority on
regional rail... and in the urban context support of
buses, trams and metro, and cycling sometimes, which
is fine, but too little support for densification. The
emphasis is too much on PT trying to cover the same
distances as automobiles, with surburbanisation not
portrayed as a negative, but as a challenge for
sustainability... with sustainable mobility being the
Todd, Green Idea Factory
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- --- In email@example.com, Todd Edelman
> emphasis is too much on PT trying to cover the same distances as
> automobiles, with surburbanisation not portrayed as a negative, but
> a challenge for sustainability... with sustainable mobility beingthe
> solution.Yes, the problem is that people nowadays expect unlimited mobility.
> Todd, Green Idea Factory
The other problem is they get most of their products from afar, which
requires transport, rather than in the past when most products were
produced locally or the local folks did without them.
We are now facing an increasingly more tragic and apparent problem of
global warming, with dire consequences already starting - the heat
wave in Europe in 2003 which killed 35,000 people; increased
intensity of hurricanes; increased flooding and drought; melting of
the Arctic ice cap and the permafrost region; coral reefs
dying, ... , are all believed to be symptomatic of global warming
according to the scientists who study such things.
What most people don't stop to realize is that petroleum oil
combustion is required for virtually every mile a product gets
shipped, and for virtually every mile a person travels by car, plane,
boat and even train (via diesel engines).
Transportation is therefore key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
and since (motorized) transportation is the U.S.'s largest
greenhouse gas emitting sector, and since the U.S. is the largest
emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, it follows that if the
world is to have any hope whatsoever of averting the tragedy of
anthropogenic global warming, then the U.S. must begin dramatically
reducing its total emissions from motorized transportation, as soon
as theorectically possible.