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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 16 2013: Even if economic activity is reduced, this does not necessarily mean that our quality of life will lessen.

    Many contend that we in the richer nations can improve our quality of life by reducing our economic consumption. For example, the majority of people in the USA could improve their health and quality of life by using automobiles less and getting more exercise by walking or bicycling. We could improve our diets by obtaining our food locally, which would reduce transportation. A simple thing like watching less television could improve the quality of our leisure time. All measures which improve our health will lead to spending less on medical care, a form of economic activity. As the price of energy increases, many people will be forced to reduce their monetary expenditures in other areas, but by making wise choices, this might lead to a higher quality of life.

    In the USA, our current practices involve such huge amounts of waste that we could absorb a considerable increase in the price of energy just be reducing the waste.

    You seem to think that this is a very urgent problem, but you do not make it clear just what time scale you are thinking about. I cannot imagine that this will result in "drastic downscaling" within the next twenty years.
    • Feb 16 2013: I shouldnt have made it sound like I was concerned with loss of economic growth. I agree with your contentions.

      I wrote it because most cant imagine an economy not growing. Our monetary system has a necessity of growth built into it and cheap energy ensures growth.

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