Sunday, June 20, 2010


In my years of blogging nothing's started to wake people up quite like the Gulf Spill - just a few thoughts about the whole thing:
Walruses in the Gulf of Mexico? According to the BP oil spill response documentation there were...
Bungling as they may have been, the attitude in the States is a very, "Wicked BP, poor USA" kind of thing isn't it? And if you were a bit cynical you might point out that now the mess is on the US coast they're suddenly all upset - there hasn't been quite so much concern about the devastation caused by oil extraction in Nigeria or Ecuador. There's not so much comment on why the industrial/developed world, US especially, needs oil so badly that it makes sense to drill for it way down there. Of course there's a risk of things going wrong! And of course US companies never cut corners and always clean up after them don't they? What happened with Union Carbide in Bhopal again? 500,000 people exposed to methyl isocyanate and 15,000 deaths in 1984 and after five years in court India gets $470million out of them. I make that 2.35% of the BP $20 billion and it puts a life at $3,133. Amerrrrica Fuck Yeah!!! The moral idignation is looking a bit thin.

We'll make more real progress when we start to realise it's just "us" on the planet. All of us oil consumers are responsible for the mess and complicit in the worldwide devastation, myself included. Sooner or later we're going to have to do things a lot differently.

At least we have a president who is talking about renewables. (Do you remember President Reagan actually removing the solar panels that President Carter had installed on the White House - nice one, Ron!)

And where is the energy going to come from to produce all the materials for all the renewable hardware and to make all the wind turbines, nuclear power stations, solar panels, electric cars and batteries? Well let's think...maybe from fossil fuel? So we're going to need extra fossil fuel energy on top of what we're using already to do make this new stuff - and that's as we enter a phase of dwindling supplies and increasing prices - how's that going to work?
See that thin little red line at the top? That represents Renewables compared with everything else. It's not very much is it? Also interesting to note that the Oil section is pretty flat while the Coal is shooting up.

Nuclear power - there's not that much easy uranium to get hold of - one estimate is that it would need all the remaining uranium to power the decommissioning of the existing nuclear plants. Decommissioning of power stations and storing radioactive waste tend not to be put into the nuclear sums.
Solar panels - need germanium, there's not much of that either...
Batteries - and guess where a huge deposit of lithium for batteries etc has turned up? Afghanistan! well well, that could be interesting.

Have a ponder for a moment - (even without thinking about Climate Change) is there really any option to using much less energy? And remember, you don't just use energy when you travel somewhere or to keep warm, energy is used to produce our food and everything we buy and use and to process our water and to make it all conveniently accessible for us - our whole industrialised/consumer way of life revolves around using lots and lots of energy - so how is this going to affect you?

Here's some links that are well worth checking out - some great sites too:

David Strahan, "America should be thanking BP".

Renewables just a tiny fraction of energy use.

Dumb BP oil spill plan - walruses in the Gulf of Mexico

Life After the Oil Crash - Heinberg

Climategate - Polluted by Profit

George Monbiot - the Money Gusher

Environmental Impact of Resource Depletion

Have a nice day...!

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