[extropy-chat] FWD (SK) A skeptical look at green technology

Dirk Bruere dirk.bruere at gmail.com
Sun Oct 2 22:23:40 UTC 2005

On 10/1/05, Terry W. Colvin <fortean1 at mindspring.com> wrote:
> Don't shoot the messenger...
> ________________
> If I see one more article about how wonderful alternative energy is
> compared
> to oil, I'm gonna flip. Alternative energy sources can be good — very good
> in fact. And it's pretty obvious that we're going to need them, and that
> our
> dependence on oil (foreign or otherwise) is a Bad Thing.
> But accepting that does not mean accepting that any kind of alternative
> energy is by default a good thing.
> To *be* a good thing, it has to have three properties: 1) It has to help
> reduce our dependence on oil, 2) It has to be no worse for the
> environment,
> and 3) It has to be economically practical.
It does not have to be 'economically practical' in the usual sense.
If the entire US defence budget for one year was diverted to solar PV it
could generate sufficient electricity for the whole of the US. Clearly this
is technologically impractal, but does illustrate a point. If it requires
hundreds of billions of dollars annually of military spending to maintain
security of oil supply the notion of what is 'economical' goes out of the
window because oil is getting a vast hidden subsidy.

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