[ExI] List of pitfalls

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Thu Mar 26 19:18:20 UTC 2009

2009/3/26 John Grigg <possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com>:
> What about a patchwork approach (based on the region/state and what appeals
> to them most) that combines land solar panels, synthetic fuels, hydro, wind,
> nuclear, etc., to sharply curb our dependence on foreign oil?

Ground solar has very hard engineering problems associated with it.
Synthetic fuels are either massive CO2 sources or require huge amounts
of energy (or both).  They make no sense until power gets down in the
penny a kWh range.  Hydro is mostly developed.  Wind has well known
serious problems.  Nuclear will work if you are willing to build tens
of thousands of reactors.

>Or does this
> cause a lessening of the necessary "laser focus" on the problem, which will
> in the end result in probable failure and the feared human population
> die-off?

It is hard to justify the transport system for throughput of less than
a million tons per year.  Over a few decades that production rate
displaces most other sources of power.

> Please tell me again how many years (roughly) we have until we must have a
> solution in place to prevent the upcoming monstrous energy shortage (and the
> resulting chaos and death).

Having misplaced my ICB (infallible crystal ball) I can't.  I can
point you to models which project the peak population at around 7
billion near 2020 and shows declines over the next few decades as high
as a billion people per decade dying from food famines as the direct
result of an energy famine.


(One of the few papers by someone up on peak oil and the singularity.)


> John Grigg
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