Thanks for all your replies to my previous post, most of them were extremely interesting
I can’t discuss right now the whole picture, but may I highlight 5 elements, to address a few mistakes or voice my opinion on some replies I’ve seen numerous times ?
- the notion of return on invested energy. Whatever the price of a an energy is, if you spend more energy extracting it, that there is energy inside the extracted elements, this is not viable. This addresses kerogen, seawater uranium, and outer space mining. Oh, who knows, perhaps a technical miracle may happen, but, well, not yet.
- hydrogen : this is a vector, not an energy. It consumes a bit more energy to produce it than it will give back later on after the hydrogen helped transport the energy elsewhere.
- « malthusianism is an intellectual fault because it failed 2.5 centuries ago ». This reasoning is also an intellectual fault
Being wrong once doesn’t imply being wrong twice, we may be reaching the real limits soon. The planet is a closed, finite dynamic space. Not everything inside this can grow forever. We won’t ever see monads à la Silverberg, the system can’t handle it, and a painful question is to know if it can even accommodate ten billion persons.
Besides, betting EVERYTHING on the belief a solution, that doesn’t exist yet, will exist when the need for it arises, this is also, in my eyes, an intellectual fault, but that, this is just an opinion, not a fact.
- the state of denial : I’m not kidding, I’m seriously convinced a few of you, I reacted the same in the past, unconsciously go into actual denial state when faced with such bleak, grim perspectives. That could make you accept to believe in complete BS just so as to keep on hopes (cf my “hyperlol” comment in the other post’s comments), or at least it could induce you into having a bias towards too optimistic perspectives.
- The problem of the rarefaction of metals remains.. Let’s imagine we can be extremely optimistic with the energy production forecasts (and yet, I was not kidding, breeders don’t work yet, and fusion is still terribly far away, you won’t see it work on an industrial scale in the next decades). Even then, we wouldn’t be able to maintain our consumerist existences much longer. Converting all our current energy usage to renewables along the fall of hydrocarbons, even if it were done thanks to massive political and social conversion, would be short-lived, various components of the renewables industry would be peaked too. Hey, metals are as needed as energy, even for stuff like fertilizers, you know. I don’t have a “full” English demonstration about metals, but I could recommend a precise book to the French. We can’t recycle everything all the time.
I’m sorry I have few English sources, but I think you could beging reading with that link (but then make the effort to read the full article, okay )
Once again, I don’t claim I’m right, but all the “we’ll make it somehow” replies didn’t look convincing to me. The world doesn’t need sci-fi, it doesn’t need a “once chance out of 20 that it will work, wheee, we got that one chance eventually, lucky us” fairy tale, it needs working solutions
63 Responses to ' About my previous pessimistic post '
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