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Page added on July 1, 2014

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You can’t build a future on finite energy sources

Business

Every few years we are informed that we are approaching ‘peak oil’ – the point at which maximum petroleum extraction is reached.

And then new sources are found in previously unexplored areas like Greenland and the Artic, or as if by magic the new extractive technique of fracking appears to offer some relief.

So, ‘panic over’ and we just fork out increasing sums for these energy sources. But such sources are finite – even if our ingenuity means we use less of them to do the same thing.

But just imagine the reaction the panel of BBC2’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ if you were to present a business plan based on our current energy sources. I would guess it is likely to be: “So, your business is based on a supply of materials that will dwindle over time and cost more as they do so. Pass!”

The plain fact is that there is no future for anything based on oil, coal and gas. And yet we persist with this model, while making token gestures towards alleviating the impact of using carbon-based power sources on the environment.

Arguments for fracking are based on it helping us over the transition to renewables. But in all likelihood it will be used to kick the can further down the road. The reality is that only a crisis will provoke a response. And you know the nature of our usual response to crisis: panic!

At the same time, the renewables sector has its problems. Whether solar, wind, biomass, or tidal, arguments rage over just how beneficial they are and whether the market is being distorted by tax reliefs. Nuclear energy’s promise is yet to be fulfilled, and there are obvious problems with disposal of its waste.

You don’t have to be a bug-eyed believer of the ‘green’ secular religion to realise that we are in near-collective denial about this problem. And it is only going to get worse, as the developing world attempts to catch up with the West.

So, no doubt humanity will default to its usual stance of getting into conflict over remaining supplies of carbon based fuels.

money-marketuk.com



2 Comments on "You can’t build a future on finite energy sources"

  1. Kenz300 on Tue, 1st Jul 2014 9:47 am 

    Quote — “The plain fact is that there is no future for anything based on oil, coal and gas. And yet we persist with this model, while making token gestures towards alleviating the impact of using carbon-based power sources on the environment.”

    The price of oil, coal and nuclear keeps rising and causing environmental damage.

    The price of wind and solar keeps dropping and it is safe and clean.

    Climate change is real and will impact each of us.

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  2. GregT on Tue, 1st Jul 2014 5:15 pm 

    Kenz,

    “The plain fact is that there is no future for anything based on oil, coal and gas. And yet we persist with this model, while making token gestures towards alleviating the impact of using carbon-based power sources on the environment.”

    Wind and solar both require oil, coal, and gas. Neither is safe or clean for the environment, and both are large contributors to CC. Both are also used to power infrastructure and gadgetry that also require fossil fuels, that also add more greenhouse gasses into the environment.

    Your advocation of wind and solar are the ‘token gestures’ spoken of in the quote above.

    It would make much better sense to focus on small, local, manual food production, because without fossil fuels we aren’t going to be able to feed ourselves.

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