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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: 1) You miss a vital point about downscaling our economy - developing nations. Every bit of downscaling we do will be offset by them. Simply to match the average quality of life of the 1st world with that of the 3rd world requires more energy than we currently use worldwide. The argument about sunshine and flowers being better than junk food and video games may be valid, but when hundreds of millions of people do not even have access to water, it is moot.

    2) The best we can hope for by downscaling our economy is to buy a little time, but we don't need to do anything for that, the market will take care of that by raising the price of oil and with it the price of everything else.

    3) The only real solution to provide a good quality of life for all is alternative energy. The best incentive to implementing an alternative energy plan is sustained growth.

    4) There is no real need of major inventions, we have many alternative energy solutions, each with its ups and downs. A comprehensive solution that employs all of them might just work. Plus, the price of new tech goes down all the time!
    • Feb 21 2013: Uri: Alternative energy is fine, as long as it means Thorium LFTRs. The most talked about ones, are simply too expensive to be helpful, without even considering their intrusive infrastructure. And they just don't have "Energy Density". What you need is clean energy cheaper than coal.

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