The Jaded Prole

A Progressive Worker's Perspective on the political and cultural events of our time.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Replacing Petrolium

More and more poeple are focusing on our dependence on oil and the problems of supply that entails for the future. Today on NPR I heard a discussion about the need for new thinking from the ecology movement. In that past the focus has been more on condemning technology and emphasizing reduction of enery usage. The speaker was saying that the emphasis needs to be not so much on energy reduction as on creative ways to move away from our fossil feul dependence while maintaining and even advancing a technological society. I think there is much to be said for that view.

Greenland is taking the lead in their developement of hydrogen extracted from seawater. Though a fossil feul, we also have the capacity to produce methane from animal or human waste as well as from decaying plants. This could be used to run generators.

To convert efficiently to other natural sources of energy -- hydrogen, methane, wind, solar and hydroelectric, a requirement, like in Greenland, is public ownership. The resources necessary to replace what we have no with a new and efficient energy grid are so large that it can be done best by government. Many corporate ideologues will be upset by this but history shows that when it comes to energy, public ownership is superior, cheaper and accountable.

Conversion to non-petrolium energy sources is vital and there is no choice in the matter if we are to continue as a modern technological society. Time is running out and we need to begin working in that direction.

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