Monday, June 28, 2010

Take this opportunity to unite our country, not divide it!

Energy Solutions
Nothing - no one energy source - is a "panacea" in itself. Can't we all agree on that? Nevertheless, we seem to continue to publish commentaries and papers that insist on attacking a premise that no one asserts! Namely, I'm not familiar with anyone, not even Boone Pickens, who says that natural gas will solve all our energy challenges. Yet, the first premise attacked by most critics is that someone has said that natural gas is a panacea, or that natural gas can make us energy independent. Likewise about additional drilling - it's not a panacea, and it won't ever make us energy independent, but we need to do it!

We need to develop every sensible energy option we have - even fossil fuel ones - while we work on ramping conservation, researching and developing alternatives and transitioning our how we live, work and eat. It will take a while - Dr. Hirsch said 10 to 20 years. Why must we continue to develop fossil fuels, and even deploy natural gas in vehicles in the meantime, during the transition? Because vehicles and fossil fuels are too ingrained in every thing we are, and in every thing we do. We just can't change that overnight - we can't stop using them one day, and shift to alternatives the next. In the meantime we've got to develop oil and gas reserves faster in order to compensate for the smaller discoveries that characterize the right hand side of Hubbert's Curve. "Saving" the reserves for a rainy day is noble thought, but not realistic with the serious situation we face. So if we choose to marginalize and destroy our oil and gas infrastructure - we will see what "Hubbert's Cliff" looks like, due to accelerating depletion. I suspect that the accompanying scenario would make Mr. Kunstler's novel look like a walk in the park.

Let's take this opportunity to unite our country, not divide it with a "fossil fuels bad, only alternative energy good" mentality. We'll be more "postcarbon" with every passing year - but we need to get on with the transition, quit bickering and pointing fingers while we continue to wisely develop and use the resources we have to get there as soon as possible.

MIT gas paper

Video of the BP relief well effort
Currently there are a bunch of fine men and women working real hard, using billions of dollars of state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to control this blowout. Take a look at this video regarding the drilling of the relief well:

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