Sunday, December 18, 2005

"alternative energy" will NOT save civilization.

although this may seem redundant to some, i have noticed a suprising frequency of people relying on this notion; that is, that "alternative fuels" will be able to replace depleting petrochemical fuels (oil & natural gas). This hope is science fiction, as was recently made so clear in an article posted on From The Wilderness titled "The most destructive crop on the earth is no solution to the energy crisis". In Europe in the 1600's, the net EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) for their primary source of fuel and construction material at the time, wood, past the point of diminishing returns. after this point, they invested more energy into procurring wood than the wood thus procurred could provide them. hence peak wood. so they were faced with a choice, either replace wood with a fuel that had a positive EROEI, or face the collapse of their civilization. they chose coal to replace their wood. so today this civilization has come to the same junction, albeit this time it is a global and techo-industrial civilization with many other additional problems coming to the fore; choose a replacement to oil with a equel or better EROEI, or face collapse due to peak oil. so when are the green fuels and eco-technologies coming allong to save us? they arn't! hello collapse, goodby civilization!


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