Ruminating Energy: We Could Use a Few Fusion Reactors

“The most important aspect of an energy resource is whether it takes more inputs of fossil fuel energy than the output energy returned, or Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). So for a windmill, you’d look at how much fossil fuel energy was used to mine the iron, aluminum, concrete, to fabricate all the components, and so on to the delivery of the windmill, and subtract out the fossil fuel energy required to operate and maintain it. Basically, you need to find out if more fossil fuels are used in the full energy life cycle than what’s going to be delivered by the windmill over its lifetime. Even though this is the most important aspect of looking at alternatives to replace fossil fuels, I find that most people don’t understand this concept, or don’t want to understand it.” –

Hello World (and fellow Nebraskans), are you aware that the EROEI for ethanol is only minimally useful to society?
“most ethanol EROI values are at or below the 3:1 minimum extended EROI value required for a fuel to be minimally useful to society.”

Why does this matter? Well, we have all jumped on the bandwagon of renewable energy with the notion that our energy “solutions” will negate the problems of peak oil, pollution, and saving the polar bears (that’s a good one Al Gore). But here is the reality, renewable fuels, short of fusion, will not maintain our current economic paradigm which has propped up civilization…especially when one considers that each time an energy solution is devised, people invariably use more energy (as observed with the Watt’s steam engine and the discovery of oil). See TechNO-Fix by Michael Huesemann

Think about it, would you feel compelled to drive less or more with an electric car? No duh! I’d drive more. This proclivity of the human species educes the shortcomings of techNO-fixes. New technology WILL NOT resolve our energy crisis (unless we develop a fusion generator that can contain and sustain the 180 million degree plasma necessary to slam nuclei together).

All energy ultimately comes from the sun, and it has taken eons upon eons for deposits of concentrated solar energy (i.e. oil, coal, etc.) to form, yet we may consume the whole of these finite resources in what equates to a few centuries! What are we going to do? Throw up solar panels everywhere? Nope…current energy demands require 144,000 sq. miles of solar panel arrays (which means less area for food production). how bout wind? Same problem, not a high-enough energy output and the turbines occupy a lot of space. You can peruse literally any of the so called “renewable” energy solutions and not need to be a scientist to deduce that they will not support our current consumption habits. The U.S., for instance, holds around 5% of the world’s total population but consumes some 25% +,- of the world’s resources. Globalization is influencing other nations to raise their standards of living to reflect the status of the US.

Politics aside, you would be an idiot to presume an economic paradigm requiring infinite growth could somehow be immutably paired with a finite planet.

Green solutions will do nothing. Carbon taxes will do nothing. The election of Donald Trump will do nothing…Nothing at all to address the very real problem of energy and the global economy.

We are metaphorically ‘eating our young’ as they are bound to be bequeathed a mordant future of violence, fear, and uncertainty once highly-industrialized society decays.

Read. Ask questions. Grow your own food. Drive less. Walk more. Teach yourself and your children skills that translate to benefit in a post-industrial world.Not because you want to “save the planet” like a leftist hippie but because the future will demand this conduct once resources run dry…and they will (if the nations of the world haven’t annihilated each other over resources by then).

A disjointed post, but that is the nature of my process.
Synopsis: The Laws of Thermodynamics are inexorable and inescapable. Why do we not hear more news on this world crisis?



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