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We will NOT find an alternative to energy dense, easily transportable conventional oil in time to sustain indefinate economic growth.

All alternative energies have one or more disadvantages that do not let them compete with cheap conventional oil.

Given our industrial civilization depends on massive amounts of cheap energy, the reliance on conventional oil is enormous.

The only quick solution I see is a drastic downscaling of economic activity.

Topics: energy
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  • Feb 15 2013: Maybe we won't find an economically viable alternative source of energy soon enough, but we can buy time by optimization, lighter vehicles with smaller engines, improved combustion, using unwanted heat for something useful, and so on. There should be at least a couple of talks on this site, by Armory Lovings which can make you realize that if we optimize the way we use oil, we may be buying few decades... when I saw this guy talking, I was astonished by the amounts of energy the industry could save just by pumping liquids on wider pipes and by reducing the number of curves in them, those are ideas that really worth spreading... So based on this, I think, maybe the first step in the path to alternative energy sources is to optimize our current engines and industrial processes, maybe the optimization of our current models is the key we need to turn in order to really plug in into the "alternative grid", and may be the disadvantages we see are because we think in therms of inefficiency.
    • J P

      • 0
      Feb 15 2013: As a private inventor I found the solution a long time ago and designed a portable flexible solar collector with an almost 100 percent efficiency. This device will deliver all of the sunlight falling on it to a single point where it can be used to crack water to produce hydrogen and oxygen. Or run a stirling engine. Or purify water. Or cut stone. It requires no maintenance and the materials are abundant. If you remember as a child using a magnifying glass in the sun to focus it and bring to a point on the back of your hand, it didn't take long to burn. Just imagine having your roof covered with this material.

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