“Islands of experience surrounded by oceans of incoherence” – immediately’s vitality coverage in a nutshell • Do you agree?


Terry Etam

I recently met a new genius thanks to a YouTube-loving friend. Normally I would reserve this qualification for someone who completely agrees with me. But my capacity for self-deception doesn’t go quite that far, and sometimes you meet people who just see the world better, albeit differently; They just have better vision and are better able to condense the madness that’s swirling around us (not just energy, everything). It’s fun when people like this question their beliefs because it can only strengthen your beliefs.

This newfound genius (by me), Nate Hagens, is a great thinker. As mentioned, I don’t necessarily agree with him (he’s an advisor to a so-called Post Carbon Institute populated by some serious activists whose thinking borders on delusional to me), but that doesn’t matter – he gets the basics of energy in a nutshell Wise that I have rarely seen, and is at the forefront of statements like this one (from the PCI website): “[Fossil fuels] are energy-dense, portable and storable energy sources. Access to them changed almost everything in human existence. They were uniquely transformative in that they enabled higher harvest rates and the use of all other resources – via tractors, bulldozers, powered mining equipment, chainsaws, motorized fishing trawlers and more.”

Even if he belongs to an organization of hard-nosed activists who want to destroy the hydrocarbon industry, it’s great to see such a simple reflection of reality and then discuss what he calls “Reality 101” – people combining work, energy and resources into Transforming products that help create dollars we spend to create feelings and a by-product of this process is waste and environmental impact. It may sound strange to say that we do all of this to create feelings, and often that’s not the only way it is (we generate products and then money to fill our stomachs and build roofs over our heads), but that’s his point is correct as far as travel and travel are concerned. Leisure and sports cars as well as expensive cocktails definitely fit into the bucket of positive feelings.

But apart from arguing about feelings, his big claims are both correct and wise: “The amount of excess energy we have determines how much free time we have and how much we can achieve…” He notes that fossil Adding fuels “armies of energy” that do almost unbelievable results things for us. Expressed in energy equivalents, one barrel of oil takes about 4.5 years of human labor. “Our current global industrial infrastructure is subject to specific requirements and constraints and is particularly dependent on energy-dense liquid fuels.”

Hagens points out how many industrial processes need to be changed or phased out if we are to eliminate hydrocarbons, and that there is no easy or cheap alternative to the goods provided. Moreover, he not only suggests that this is a viable option; He recognizes that eliminating or greatly reducing the industrial processes that improve our lives goes against human nature. We will vote and protest against anyone who tries, and as a result such challenges often become insurmountable. We rarely if ever sacrifice comfort/convenience voluntarily unless absolutely compelled to do so.

The framework of this thinking is logical, coherent and complete, largely because it does not attempt to continue it into a series of simplistic solutions. In fact, in another video, he describes part of the problem with trying to do just that. He describes a global discussion that has shifted to “islands of expertise…separated by oceans of incoherence”. He notes that “society has rewarded reductionist expertise” — which means we give a full ear to those who wave easy solutions. We like them. Simple sounds doable.

From here I can only degrade the quality of the conversation, because it needs to get more concrete, which means diving into this “ocean of incoherence” to understand what’s happening around us.

The drive to reduce emissions and human ecological footprint is very good. Without natural habitat we are doomed. But the parties that have taken the reins of strategy have emerged from the oceans of incoherence, not attuned to the islands of expertise.

We have an entire industry of net zero specialists who know the end goal because the politicians have told them what it is. They start at the end and work backwards, in overly simplistic and, yes, reductionist terms.

“We must stop burning fossil fuels immediately (IEA report) to prevent a climate catastrophe.” Really? Even the countries most advanced in the “energy transition” are building new natural gas infrastructure and/or increasing coal consumption. The demand for oil continues to increase year after year. As Robert Bryce notes, we’ve invested over $4 trillion (worldwide) in wind and solar, and yet the world’s energy mix is ​​still 82 percent fossil fuels, and all three hydrocarbons — oil, natural gas, and coal — take it to record demand.

“We have to massively expand the grid in order to be able to use renewable energies.” Sure. How? With what? What does that even mean in terms of scope, timing, regulatory hurdles, and material availability? How do we deal with intermittency and the fact that wind and solar energy are at their most spectacular when they are needed most? (And beware of the likes of Bloomberg trying to portray natural gas powered electricity in the same way, as unreliable in inclement weather because wells/plants sometimes freeze. The very existence of Canadian society proves that this is a massive, aimless But lying is concealment and mischief.)

“By 2040 we need four times the amount of metals/minerals that need to come from hundreds of new mines.” From what? How? What does that even mean in a world where the simplest deposits have been dug, the remaining reserves are of inferior quality, and in a world where increasing numbers of governments and voters do not want mountains to be ripped apart?

All of these platitudes and “strategies” are the product of short-circuited thinking, disregard for reality, decision-making in the ocean of incoherence rather than islands of expertise, belief in the superiority of politics over everything else.

I can finally say that because I’ve been there myself. Watching the gloriously insane “War on Drugs” in the US a few decades ago, I realized that the best solution would be to legalize soft drugs, which would free up endless time for police work and they might actually succeed – Instead of destroying a clown with a joint, they can spend their days chasing down the crime bosses! This is how we as a society will get a grip on the drug problem.

I mentioned this theory to someone who knows law enforcement and I can’t recall if he actually laughed in my face or was more polite, but I do recall hearing the firm opinion that it was a bad one be gone I thought, “Wow, you’d think someone in the industry would understand the sheer brilliance of my plan, and that it was a bit unfortunate that they seemed more concerned with job security than solving the drug problem (cynicism is the). hard to keep in check).

It turns out, of course, that this person was absolutely right, and I have to acknowledge the superiority of her reasoning every time I have to walk past a vulnerable drug addict in the transit train, or when I have to get off when a group of them get on, or when I happen to have one tragic fentanyl statistic or seen a family survivor on the news. The only thing I know for sure about the drug trade is that it’s a far more complex problem than I can even imagine, let alone championing an overly simple strategy. Maybe nobody knows the answer, but some people have a much better idea of ​​what won’t work and we should listen to them.

The same is true for energy, and to an even greater extent, as scary as it may sound. Current active proposals are to dismantle the existing power system because some clumsy quarterback follows that policy and has observed an overly simplistic proposal for how this is all going to work. “Electrify everything!” “Just stop using oil!”

It’s imperative that we take care of the environment, but it’s also imperative that we walk before we run, that we understand exactly what we’re going to do (and test it) before we tear down the existing structure, the 8 billion keeps people alive. You will not tolerate it.

There is always the potential for new technological breakthroughs that turn everything on its head. Most recently, Toyota has announced plans to start using solid-state batteries from 2027, a move that could revolutionize battery technology if it becomes commercially available on a large scale (and Toyota was one of the pioneers of hybrid cars with the Prius about 20 years ago) . , has credibility on this issue). Their battery technology has the potential to offer a range of up to 900 miles and a full charge in 10 minutes. I would sign up for this, subject to the cost.

But there it is again: a solution that might sound too simple. What would that mean in terms of demand for the special sauce metal compounds Toyota will use to make it all work? Will it be something exotic (they don’t say so, at least I haven’t found it)? Will it be plentiful? Or will it mean an overarching new mining strategy that will make us even more dependent on China for processing?

If anyone is serious about reducing global emissions, there’s a very clear way forward: Replace coal with natural gas in the first place — the lowest hanging fruit. Build nuclear power plants, either large or small modular reactors. Develop serious global recycling efforts to utilize everything we have produced so far. Accelerate the development of new technologies that work best with existing infrastructure, as this is certainly the most likely path to success going forward. Stop listening to rogue seekers.

Listen to experts responsible for the critical paths, not nouveau experts who simply tell you what the goal is. We all know that. We know that we want a drug-free world. We know we want everyone to be healthy to reduce the medical burden. We know we want many things. But that means nothing in isolation.

Energy talks should be positive and, most importantly, realistic. Life depends on it. Learn more in The End of Fossil Fuel Insanity on Amazon.ca, Indigo.ca, or Amazon.com. Thanks!

Read more insightful analysis from Terry Etam here or email Terry here.


item rating

Like this:

How Loading…

Comments are closed.