A Greenie fesses up
An interesting article in which the author, a noted "Greenie," illustrates the "problems he sees for the green movement.
"You think you're discussing technologies, and you quickly discover that you're discussing belief systems."Cut the electricity supply and we're stuck with oil and gas. If we close down nuclear plants, we must accept an even greater expansion of renewables than currently proposed. Given the tremendous public resistance to even a modest increase in windfarms and new power lines, that's going to be tough."most of those who advocate an off-grid, land-based economy have made no provision for manufactures..... I'm talking about the energy required to make bricks, glass, metal tools and utensils, textiles (except the hand-loomed tweed Fairlie suggests we wear), ceramics and soap: commodities that almost everyone sees as the barest possible requirements.""We think that the crude oil production has already peaked, in 2006." If this is true, we should be extremely angry with the IEA. In 2005 its executive director mocked those who predicted peak oil as "doomsayers". Until 2008 (two years after the IEA now says it happened) the agency continued to dismiss the possibility that peak oil would occur.But this also raises an awkward question for us greens: why hasn't the global economy collapsed as we predicted?"The problem we face is not that we have too little fossil fuel, but too much. As oil declines, economies will switch to tar sands, shale gas and coal; as accessible coal declines, they'll switch to ultra-deep reserves (using underground gasification to exploit them) and methane clathrates."All of us in the environment movement, in other words - whether we propose accommodation, radical downsizing or collapse - are lost. None of us yet has a convincing account of how humanity can get out of this mess."