[ExI] Serious topic

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Feb 28 11:03:50 UTC 2011

On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 11:02:31PM -0500, David Lubkin wrote:
> Spike wrote:
>> If we look around us, everywhere I see astonishing energy waste, just
>> because energy is cheap and plentiful.  Oil is still so cheap it strangles
>> out most alternative energy sources.
> And there's a lot of known energy, e.g., nuclear, coal, and natural gas, 

Not a lot unfortunately, that's the whole point of demand rate
(growing) eclipsing supply rate (stagnating), at simultaneously
declining EROEI.

> that can be readily tapped without much technical fuss. We may balk at 

Anything involving infrastructure isn't 'readily' or 'without much
technical fuss', unfortunately. If you consider that the much-touted
nuclear option isn't, nevermind it doesn't help with liquids and
gases, and you'll realize that polyannas like Shortwhile (1 TW/year
substitution rate, for the next 20 years, sure) are Not Helping.

> one or other but someone else won't, and energy is fungible.

It's fungible only if you have it.

> Aside, any idea how fast we could build gigawatt reactors in a real  

Not just GW worth of reactors, they have to be breeders. Orelse
you're in peak fissible Really Soon. And of course you can't get
the money, and you would syphon the money away from renewables, as
budgets are zero sum.

> crunch? (That is, in a WW II grade focus, bypassing all current hurdles.)

The only way to address that is the deeply unpopular A and F (austerity
and frugality). 

Oh, and if you think that's Not So Good, consider food. And constraints
for food -- there's a damn reason everybody is buying up Africa.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820 http://www.ativel.com http://postbiota.org
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