Wednesday, June 25, 2008

About Energy Independence, And Interdependence

Writer and thinker Dennis Phillips offers Parts I and II of a very provocative essay on US and world energy policies.

And the site carrying Phillips' work is a trove of inspired work.

1 comment:

Dan Sebald said...

Provocative perhaps in the sense of addressing the dodgy subject of energy. But after reading, I'm left thinking it is a good summary of the quandary but ultimately is status quo. "We'll be dependent on fossil fuels for a long time" isn't exactly a big motivator to do otherwise.

It almost espouses globalization. I think that no matter what business one is in, moving goods less distances is usually preferred. Independence is usually pretty good. Concentrated sources of energy are a political nightmare. (And the argument has nothing to do with ethnicity.)

How about:

* Plastic isn't the best "recyclable" material. How about re-using the containers? Couldn't we standardize containers so that not every bottle of lotion needs to have a pop-up cap or a plunger dispenser? Just remove the seal and place in a standard dispenser (which could be bought at any store) or cap from the previous or similar product.

* Bicycle. The super battery is probably a long way off and likely a violation of thermodynamic principles regarding work/heat/energy. The bicycle is here today and if we build an infrastructure for it, it will be here for a long time to come.

* Ethanol for farming use only. In some instances, energy density and cleanliness win out. Can a super battery possibly pack as much energy as a tank of ethanol? (I don't know, but that is what research is for.) Is a battery recharged by wind turbines? Everything in the whole process has to be considered as far as its impact.

* After reading this blog, we all know about mixed land use, or lack thereof.

As with politicians, identifying the problem is easy. Coming up with viable solutions is something different.