I would like to direct your attention to the epic post written by The Ergosphere’s Engineer-Poet:
Sustainability, energy independence and agricultural policy
It is a monster (the last draft I saw before publication was over 8,000 words) and it is really thorough. It should be cross-posted to The Oil Drum in a couple of days. Here is a brief introduction of what the essay covers:
What would you say if I told you that we could use biomass to:
- Replace all the petroleum used by the ground-transport sector (55% or more)?
- Replace all the natural gas used by the electric-generation sector (about 1/3 of US natural gas consumption)?
- Replace every pound of coal burned for electricity (about 90% of all US coal consumption)?
- Eliminate over 1.2 billion tons of carbon emissions (4.4 billion tons of CO2) from oil and coal.
All that, and have some left over. I believe we could, and I’ll illustrate how (with numbers!) below. But to understand where we need to go, we should first see where we are and how we got here.
If you have a passion for sustainable energy, or just believe we need to change the direction of our energy policy, this is a must read. If only we had a Secretary of Energy with this kind of vision.
Incidentally, I have mentioned it on a couple of occasions, but The Ergosphere was the inspiration for starting my own blog. Whenever I needed some information on alternative energy, energy policy, ethanol, etc. a Google search kept coming up with The Ergosphere as the place for the answer. One Saturday, I spent about 3 hours reading through various essays there, and I kept thinking “This guy gets it, and he is making a real contribution in the energy debate.” I finally decided to start my own blog and make a contribution as EP has done. But I still check in almost every day to see if he has posted anything new.
Finally, I have been contacted many times since starting my blog with job inquiries, consulting offers, etc. While I have entertained some that I felt did not present any conflict of interest with my current employment, I have to decline most opportunities. However, Engineer-Poet, with his passion for sustainable energy, is looking for opportunities. At the end of his essay, he writes:
The author has an odd combination of energy tunnel-vision, an analytical nature and the ability to think outside the box. He feels his talents are not fully utilized in his current line of work. If you know of any opportunities which match, please drop him an e-mail at the address listed in the sidebar.
Drop him a note if you are looking for someone who knows his stuff.
4 thoughts on “Epic Essay on Sustainability”
I am really flattered to have this sort of support from Robert et al. Most of these bloggers (Robert included) have never met me; they don’t even know my real name. The only way they know me is through my writing and analysis.
I wanted it to speak for itself. I guess that’s all I could have asked for.
What, you haven’t gotten mails from hucksters trying to get you to help them flog their investment strategy? Because I have.
You can always go back to school too, unless you do indeed have the Ph.D.
Haven’t got time for more school, and I’m not sure it would have any value. I’m an extreme generalist, while most MSc (let alone PhD) programs are very specific.
On the other hand, I would be happy to develop something like this essay into an academic-quality paper and have it published in a peer-reviewed journal. (IIUC, it’s the paper that matters, not the degree held by the author.) But not being an academic, I have no idea where to begin.
At the end of Engineer-Poet’s essay, he wrote he has no idea who hits his blog. Some may be people like me. An old guy who finds the future of energy in this world interesting and worrying. I read a lot of them. I don’t even have a B.S. I still understand most of them. Every once in awhile you run across someone who makes sense.
It beats the heck out of 60 minutes corn. A job well done.
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