Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nicole M Foss' Dose of Reality on Renewable Energy

Nicole M. Foss, peak oiler, climate catastrophist, energy and economy writer, and co-editor of the automatic . . . . makes her case against renewable energy in a 30+ page essay complete with a cornucopia of links and references.

Typically, people who believe in peak oil, climate catastrophe, overpopulation, resource scarcity, etc. etc. will also believe strongly in large scale adoption of renewable energy.

But in her "Renewable Energy the Vision and a Dose of Reality," Foss looks very broadly at the issue of replacing modern electric power generating infrastructure with large scale renewables, and suggests that the goals of Al Gore, Angela Merkel, Julia Gillard, and the rest of the usual suspects cannot be met on any reasonable time scale.

The piece is worth reading for its links and source quotations alone.

Reading Foss, I was reminded of Gail Tverberg's article: "Forget Renewables, We Need Cheap Oil."

Both Tverberg and Foss have been connected to The Oil Drum international organisation in one way or another. Both are well educated, largely in thrall to the peak oil / EROEI hype, participants in carbon hysteria -- and yet both have come out publicly against big renewable energy.

It is at these junctures of intersecting conclusions, that people who hold vastly different assumptions can for a short time meld their mental functions and stretch their congealed attitudes -- if they want to.

Many contemporary sceptics of peak oil and climate catastrophe were once adherents to those ideas. But careful attention to details and demonstrable dynamic trends allowed them to break through the contrictive assumptions that hold so many otherwise intelligent people thrall to those quasi-religious beliefs. One would assume that Tverberg and Foss were once enthusiastic about the potential for large scale renewables, before they were hit over the head by the harsh realities.

Most humans never live long enough to shed their most erroneous beliefs and assumptions. That being the case, most humans are unable to arrive at realistic conclusions, no matter how valid their intermediate chains of logic.

If enough intelligent and articulate humans wake up -- even in a very limited way -- in time to prevent a boondoggle of catastrophic proportions, that may be all we can ask for. If the same humans go on to support other disastrous boondoggles, well, they are only human.



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