[ExI] Serious topic

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Feb 28 14:15:09 UTC 2011

On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 07:06:00PM -0800, spike wrote:

> Keith, I like to imagine the kinds of transitions that can be made quickly
> if necessary, should these kinds of scenarios play out.  We have three areas
> in which energy use can be reduced: home lighting and heating, food, and

Home lighting takes electricity, and is the easiest to fix, though
many lack the means of buying solid state or metal halide lightings,
nevermind refitting their home electric infrastructure.

Changing heating is far more expensive, and to what? I heat with
locally sourced wood from renewably managed forests/my other place
is deep geothermal, but that's not an option for many, especially 

Food is far more difficult, and not just energy-constrained.

In general people don't seem to see what these >15 TW total mean, and what 
doubling and tripling electrification to substitute for missing
fossil liquids and gases mean (1 TW/year conversion rate, for
the next 20 years, and photovoltaic surface doesn't fabricate
itself, put itself up, and connects to the grid, while rebuilding
it in the process, and adding energy buffering capacity).



> transportation.  I see potential in all three areas for reductions, although
> we will not like them.  In our food production cycle, we can go vegetarian

Won't help much if there's crop failures, and grain exporting countries
have stopped exporting.

> and trend toward far less processed foods.  In home lighting and heating, we
> can transition (quickly if necessary) to LED lighting and far lower use of

Not an option for poor people.

> HVAC systems.  In transportation (an area I have pondered long) we can
> transition to 2 wheels, or very light 3 wheelers if we really need to.  

Or simple public transport, electrified.
> 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.

The problem is that it's cheap, until it suddenly isn't. 
We've been down that road before, remember the oil crisis and
Carter, and what has been started, and then shut down.

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