Sunday, May 30, 2010

The GOM Oil Spill

It's quite the live feed, the "spillcam" as Ed Markey has named it:

I've spent the week and  the weekend reading the devastating New York Times and Wall Street Journal coverage. People are pissed. Most probably, they damn well should be.  Our civilization should face the facts: carbon and uranium based energy are extremely dangerous on every level: political, social, environmental, geo-strategic, health, economic.  The benefits of deriving energy from these two elements were never worth the risks and the side-effects. Time to heal the world, heal the environment, heal our bodies. Time for drastic change.

I should mention that I have been an "energy conservation junkie" for some time in my life.  I have some wild articles I have written on energy conservation that continue to get a lot of attention despite the fact that some of them need to be updated and others are just historical relics of the California energy crisis now.  Most of my stuff is "home power" style hands on experiments with energy conservation and production.  But I've done enough of it to conclude that the solutions to the problems of energy usage are much less finite than they are depicted. Energy is a political commodity. It determines the value of countries, monetary systems, and geo-political winners and losers. My guess is that a good chunk of the "power elite" like reality as such. It affords them cheap and easy profits and political control. The technology I have seen  in hybrids, heat-pumps, and photo-voltaics is exceptional.  Personally, I think clean, renewable, inexpensive energy is a choice that our civilization is being prevented from making. I don't have much faith in the numbers that lock us into the carbon and uranium industry and  most centralized production of energy. My guess is that we can make the choice to solve the conflict, poverty, environmental degradation and hopelessness of the world if we garner enough support, sacrifice, and courage to choose clean renewable energy over carbon and uranium.  Stare at that spill cam  feed awhile and tell me if you don't agree.

The use of carbon and uranium based energy sources have left environmental, political, social havoc and destruction across our globe for that last 100 plus years. They have enriched the prosperous few at the expense of the impoverished many. It should be remembered that oil emerged as primary energy source when it was apparent battleships run on diesel and not coal were the most effective "force projection" tools of their day. The exploitation of uranium, of course, is still heavily tied to military action. Despite carbon and nuclear industry rhetoric, clean and renewable energy sources have always been available. They are even more so today : geothermal, hydro-electric, solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, wave, and heat pump. Storage options (fuel cells, hybrid lithium batteries, underground steam storage) are vastly improved.President Obama needs Roosevelt style "war authority" to wrap the energy industry of the United States under the national control. Once the majors are nationalized, production can be redirected to a sustainable energy future that can be used to leverage the movement for global peace and not competition for energy sources. Ultimately, we are going to have to realize as a species that using dense elements like carbon and uranium for energy sources has imperiled our very existence. Energy as a commodity should be internationally regulated; the use of energy should be subject to global environmental review.

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