Relevant Reading from the Book:

The Two Principle Problems with Energy Management:

The result of these failures is to create an escalating energy crises as time continues to run out. Unfortunately, most people are either oblivious to this or believe that some new source of energy will magically appear.

If we look at the 20 year period 1970--1990 we see both good and bad trends:

Resource

1970

1990

Comments

Lead Emission

204,000 tons

5,000 tons

Factor 40 reduction

Aluminum Cans Recycled

1.2 billion

47 billion

Factor 40 increase

Passive Solar Houses

35,000

2 million

Factor of 75 increase

Tons of Garbage

121 million

160 million

marginal increase

Percentage of Oil Imported

23%

51%

Stupid

World CO2 Emissions

14 billion tons/yr

21 billion tons/yr

Climate Change

Other trends:

Overview of The Fossil Fuel Problem

The World mirrors the US:

1992 Energy Consumption by Source

Resource

The US

The World

Oil

41%

38%

Coal

23%

26%

Natural Gas

24%

22%

Hydro

4%

7%

Nuclear

8%

6%

When does the Oil Run Out

Resource

US

World

US Lifetime

Oil

24 billion bbl

990 billion bbl

8 years

Natural Gas

0.16 tcf

4.9 tcf

9 years

Coal

265 gigatons

1140 gigatons

300 years

Note on Units:

The US has:

Hence, it becomes clear that the major challenge which faces us is the large scale conversion of fossil fuel based energies to renewables ("green") on a time scale of 50 years

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