Preparing for Transition?
Imagine discovering an energy source so versatile that it could power
90% of modern transportation, help in the production of 95% of industrial
goods, provide a three fold increase in agricultural crop yields and supply
our government (alongside gas) with 30% of its corporation tax receipts.
You just struck oil! But here's the rub. 100 years ago you only had to
puncture Texan ground to make oil burst forth. Today we're burning natural
gas to extract it from tar sands. The return on energy invested was once
100:1 - for tar sands it is closer to 2:1. As more and more energy is
required to extract oil, less will be available to feed economic growth.
The low price oil we've enjoyed for decades appears to be history.
The Transition Town Network has highlighted some of the challenges this
poses. It is working to build local resilience and it is not alone. Interest
in allotment plots, car sharing and renewable energy is growing. Sustrans
is encouraging us to walk, cycle and use public transport. People are
getting their homes better insulated - a sensible first step faced with
the prospect of rising heating costs. Are you prepared?
Presidential Energy Policy by Michael C. Ruppert
The Story of Oil by Sonia Shah
Sustainable Energy without the
Hot Air by David MacKay
it takes a lot more energy to extract hydrocarbons from the ground and
to engineer the devices that can convert sun, wind and water into electricity.
Feeding crops oil based fertilisers only to convert them into biofuel
delivers hardly any net energy gain.