Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think turning coal into oil is absolutely necessary and that it will happen on a large scale, banning the sudden and major prolieferation of plug-in hybrids.

The planet could take it if we stopped burning fossil fuels for heat and electricity where real alternatives already do exist. But transportation will for a very long time have to stay fossil, excepting the above mentioned event.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Jan 16th, 2007 at 02:55:18 PM EST
again the tacit assumption that the high speed car/airplane transport lifestyle of about 14 pct of the planetary population (if that) defines in totality what is necessary, what is practical, what is possible.

how about the sudden proliferation of bicycles, telecommuting, local trade and mercantile networks, canal and rail freight transport, etc?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue Jan 16th, 2007 at 07:31:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It defines what is likely to happen because that 14% has the economic wherewithal to make it happen.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 03:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
once again....bingo!

soooo glad you're her...

and here!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 02:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
note that knock-on effects can be positive as well as negative.  there are virtuous feedback loops as well as toxic ones:
Societal dependence on oil leads to increasingly negative social consequences throughout the world, including climate change, air pollution, political and economic instability, and habitat degradation. Reliance on the automobile for transportation also contributes to a sedentary lifestyle, an obesity epidemic and poor health. These problems are particularly pronounced in the USA, which currently consumes c. 27% of global oil production and produces c. 25% of global carbon emissions, and where c. 65% of adults are overweight or obese. Other countries throughout the world that replicate or hope to replicate the automobile-based lifestyle of the USA face similar problems now or in the near future. This paper develops and applies calculations relating the distances that could be travelled through recommended daily walking or cycling with weight loss, oil consumption and carbon emissions. These straightforward calculations demonstrate that widespread substitution of driving with distances travelled during recommended daily exercise could reduce the USA's oil consumption by up to 38%. This saving far exceeds the amount of oil recoverable from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, suggesting that exercise can reduce foreign oil dependence and provide an alternative to oil extraction from environmentally sensitive habitat. At the same time, an average individual who substitutes this amount of exercise for transportation would burn respectively c. 12.2 and 26.0 kg of fat per year for walking and cycling.

to be fair we should admit that the Obesity Panic is largely a media construct and a marketing tool for big pharma and the med mafia, packaged food vendors, diet quacks and the like.  however, the benefits of regular exercise regardless of body weight are inarguable, and the knock-on benefits of reducing emergency and chronic high-tech med interventions are positive (pharma and med form a highly polluting and energy intensive sector)...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Jan 18th, 2007 at 04:00:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
depend on fossil fuels.

I don't like cars.   I think they're ridiculous.  

But let's be clear, if we continue to want cars for some completely pixilated reason, we do not need fossil fuels to run them.

There are about a zillion other ways to fuel them.   The best, in my view, would be hydrogenated carbon dioxide to make DME.   This involve some start up infrastructure costs, but such a cost could be covered by the creation of an appropriate carbon tax - appropriate meaning "charges all of the external cost and then some."

Suddenly you would find that people really don't "need" cars, they just think they do.

by NNadir on Tue Jan 16th, 2007 at 10:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not an absolute necessity that coal will be used to manufacture transportation fuels, but it is probably the path of least economic resistance at this point:

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 03:40:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it is probably the path of least economic resistance at this point:

... which would make it absolutely necessary for the moneyed elites. Haven't you heard? The market rules now.
by Trond Ove on Wed Jan 17th, 2007 at 01:56:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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