[ExI] The L5 Society ( was: EP and Peak oil.)

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Apr 11 17:38:17 UTC 2008

On Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 4:56 PM, hkhenson wrote:
>  Now I fully admit space based solar power isn't a very likely future.  Food
> riots, such as are about to start in several places, epidemics and wars are
> the probable program for the next few decades as world population falls
> dramatically.

I agree that space based solar power is unlikely.

Food riots, epidemics and wars will provide dramatic incentives to
improve the energy supply situation.

The West will continue to use oil, coal and natural gas for at least
the next ten to twenty years. New finds, reuse old fields, etc. Oil
supplies will continue OK, with possibly a few hiccups. The suppliers
have seen what happens when the West wants to secure oil supplies.

Rising energy prices will drive economy measures and the development
of alternatives.

Energy use is roughly 50 / 50 split between domestic and industrial.
So more and better nuclear power stations will be built.
Domestic measures include greater insulation, solar panel roofs, windmills, etc.
10% transportation fuel savings are easily achievable. More with research.
(China is making 30 million electric bikes and scooters each year).

Of course, the investment payback on many alternatives is presently
not sensible.
But when energy prices quadruple, very different rules prevail.

It won't be easy, and the western world will feel poorer for some
years. But the changeover from fossil fuels is doable once the
realization sinks in.


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