- Every day, you hear companies, governors and newscasters
yelping about our emerging 'green energy' and 'green technology' and 'alternative
- Let's look at our self-delusion more closely...
- In order to drive cars, boats, planes and fuel industry,
Americans burn 20 million barrels of oil daily while the rest of the world
burns 62 million barrels. That equals 82 million barrels of oil every
- When you multiply 365 days by 82,000,000 barrels of oil
burned daily, it equals a whopping 29.9 billion barrels of oil annually.
- If you remember your science, it took two billion years
to produce all the oil on this planet. In other words, when oil reserves
decline, we exhaust the single major energy source that drives our civilization
and most other societies on this planet.
- To show how much energy oil provides the U.S. annually,
Michael Brownlee of www.transitionbouldercounty.org provided an astounding
graph of one cubic mile of oil. That's how much oil humans burn around
the planet each year! That equals to the same amount of energy provided
by 52 nuclear power plants built every year for 50 years or 104 operating
coal-fired electrical plants built every year for 50 years or 32,000 wind
turbines built every year for 50 years-and in continuous operation-or
91,250,000 solar panels built every year for 50 years.
- In other words, oil produces dramatically incredible
amounts of energy that we cannot and will not be able to duplicate in the
- "The United States cannot afford to wait for the
next energy crisis to marshal its intellectual and industrial resources.
Our growing dependence on increasingly scarce Middle Eastern oil is a fool's
game-there is no way for the rest of the world to win. Our losses may come
suddenly through war, steadily through price increases, agonizingly through
developing-nation poverty, relentlessly through climate change-or through
all of the above." James Woolsey, US Director of Central Intelligence
1993 - 1995
- In his book, Too Many People, Lindsey Grant addresses
our energy predicament. You may find his book at www.sevenlockspress.com
and www.amazon.com. Grant is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Environment and Population Affairs.
- "Fossil energy, along with agriculture, is the origin
of most of our problems with climate change, soil, water and air pollution,"
said Grant. "We are annually pumping petroleum and gas and digging
up coal that had been sequestered in the lithosphere over millions of years,
and putting them back into the biosphere. This is a fundamental alteration
of the carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and mercury balance at which the Earth's
biosphere had arrived. Nature recycles those things; we are injecting
them into the system. None of that addition is "natural". The
question is, how long will this go on, and at what level?"
- ENERGY AND FOOD PRODUCTION
- The factor that allowed the United States to triple its
population from 75 million in 1900 to 309 million in 2010: internal combustion
engine fed by oil. By 1970, according to the Hubbert Curve, we dropped
from self-sufficiency of pumping nine million barrels a day, to three million.
Since then, we began importing and today import 70 percent of our oil
from other sources.
- In other words, we stagger arrogantly forward in an artificial
oil paradigm that cannot and will not last much longer.
- "A growing population will make the transition from
petroleum more abrupt," said Grant, "as it consumes more and
more of the grain it has been exporting to earn foreign exchange for oil
- As Grant states, natural gas, coal, nuclear power, hydrogen
and renewable like hydro-electric power cannot keep up with exponential
human population growth.
- "When it, [transition to alternative energy], comes,
the transition will be an immense, expensive and technologically challenging
undertaking, and rising energy prices themselves will make it more expensive,"
said Grant. "The energy transition will lead to some fundamental shifts
in economic relationships."
- "A smaller population demands less energy, which
is helpful during our present fossil fuel dependence," said Grant.
"Moreover, a declining population would be helpful during the energy
transition, because it requires much less infrastructure investment than
a rising or static population. The lucky inhabitants could use the best
of the existing physical plant-and the least polluting power plants and
factories-and retire the rest."
- But the BIG predicament remains, how will the United
States make any kind of a peaceful, civil and successful transition while
adding 100 million and more to its population? That remains the most avoided,
evaded and ignored issue of our time!
- "We underestimate our predicament," said Dr.
Jack Alpert. "And, we overestimate our ability to manage it. We keep
thinking our behaviors will be able to handle the problem, but the problem
is monstrous compared to the past. And our behaviors to deal with them
- Alpert continued, "When oil dwindles, you will hear
a sucking sound that will grow louder very dramatically."
- Let's talk about the urgent need for Rapid Population
Decline as espoused by Dr. Jack Alpert at www.skil.org and shown in this
video by Dave Gardner of www.growthbusters.com
- Population decline is part of the solution:
- Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents
from the Arctic to the South Pole as well as six times across
the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from
the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming
Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic
clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring
about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He
is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million
Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715