[FoRK] Why do political and economic leaders deny Peak Oil and Climate Change?

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Sep 6 16:51:35 PDT 2013

On 9/6/13 1:55 PM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 06, 2013 at 09:22:53AM -0700, Dr. Ernest Prabhakar wrote:
>> On Sep 6, 2013, at 7:05 AM, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:
>>> I think it’s for exactly the same reasons you don’t hear them talking about
>>> preparing for Peak Oil.
>> Wasn't Peak Oil predicted for 2009?
> The exact date is not important, but we seem to have flat volume since ~2004,
> and net energy (or EROEI-corrected volume) is dropping. It's important to
> plot the function of the EROEI drop, as it is deciding our future.
>> At any rate, we only need to make it until 2040, when the world's population will flatten out, and we'll be much more reliant on bits than atoms.
> Human population seems to adaptively turn surplus energy into babies,
> if inverse correlation applies contraction of the energy envelope will
> make birth rate go almost zero overnight, and thus limit the starvation
> die-off.
>> Given what's happening with natural gas and tracking, that doesn't seem so unlikely.
> Looking at recent data, the fracking era is already over, barely after it began.

Headlines say: Frozen methane hydrates in deep ocean pockets!

>> To be sure, the environmental cost of getting there may be high, but there doesn't seem to be much reason for doubt that we'll find *some* way to bridge the gap.
> I think the only way to bridge the gap is substitute some 1 TW annually
> for renewable, and add according synfuel/synthon facility capacities.
> Notice this is energy-intensive, so double or triple the TW/year number.
> Do the math, there's not enough money in the world for that, so you have
> to face demand destruction/austerity. The combination is fatal, since
> it compromises your ability to shift infrastructure, and also sets you up
> for military conflict (the terminal food fight).
> Our odds are unknown, but likely not good.
Ask Elon to build nuclear reactors with an efficiency a la SpaceX vs. 
NASA.  He's probably already working on it, just to fit the Iron Man 
story better, bringing things full circle.  ;-)


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