Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Energy: We're Kidding Ourselves...

...if we think that the baby steps we're taking to conserve energy and control greenhouse gas emissions will make any real difference, writes Tom Friedman, in the New York Times. Why? Because oil use by developing nations is exploding and will continue to skyrocket:

Attention Kmart shoppers: the world consumed about 66.6 million barrels a
day of oil in 1990. We’re now consuming 83 million barrels a day. “Demand for
oil has grown 22 percent in the U.S. since 1990. China’s oil demand has grown
nearly 200 percent in this same period,” Margo Oge, director of the Environmental Protection
Agency’s office of transportation and air quality, told the Tianjin China Green
Car conference that I attended. “By 2030, the global thirst for oil is forecast
to increase by another 40 percent if we maintain business as usual.” Such an
appetite would devour every incremental green initiative we make.

We're in deep trouble. Oil will continue to get more expensive and harder to get, and global warming will worsen exponentially.

Is there any hope? Only if we develop some radical new technologies, writes Friedman. I've seen some reports of "Mr. Wizard" types who claim to be able to run their cars on water. Maybe we all ought to pay more attention in case one of these "inventors" actually has something.


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