Thursday, September 02, 2010

Doubting Your Own Life

If the fabric of your life as you live and like it depended on some particular thing, would you attack that thing? Would you adulterate it and dilute it ? You might, if you wanted to replace it with something better or longer-lasting, but surely not out of ignorance or spite.

We see our advanced world dependent on oil for much of its energy supply. So much so, in fact, that if the demand for oil stays exactly as it is today then we'll have to discover new reserves equivalent to four times that of Saudi Arabia to keep us driving for the rest of the century - maybe less. That's a very large target, so finding replacement sources is a good idea. In fact, it's an absolute necessity!

As an engineer by education, I have to say that with situations like this there's a requirement to look at every single possibility, and, maybe, use them all. Even if we were to manage to make pocket-sized fusion reactors in, say, 20 years' time, we'd still have a need for oil - if for nothing else then for lubrication! Eventually we won't be using oil as a portable energy source, but some other substance will have to make do. Petrol is just too darned convenient - easily transported and dispensed and with a lot of stored energy per unit volume.

Task for all of us: support all the people trying to replace oil-based fuels.


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