Musings On Sustainability – Eleutheros

Cargo Cults

Ever try to crack a black walnut? They are a very hard nut to crack. Recently several events in a row reminded me that a particular nut I’ve tried to crack is only making me weary. Perhaps the hammer isn’t large enough, or I’m not putting enough enthusiasm into the blows, or more likely still – it’s the sort of nut that doesn’t get cracked unless it’s against a really hard place.

First I read a review of the Telsa, that all electric car that goes from 0 to 60 in four seconds, can be charged in eight hours enough to travel 280 miles, and charged for only one hour can travel 80 miles. Sound promising? It is a two-seater, not suitable for family use. But still! It uses lithium-ion batteries, the most expensive part of the car, and they would have to be replaced every few years. The company is only making 100 of the cars next year but if someone were to attempt to make a million of them, the materials for the batteries would become scarce and still more expensive.

[snip]

Our modern culture and economy, our current ability to sustain six billion people, is the result of the one time opportunity to burn all the fossil fuel that has ever been created on the earth. It isn’t because we are technologically advanced, clever, or receiving the bounty of God. It’s because we are burning up fossil fuel. It was fossil fuel that put a man on the moon, brought about the ‘Green Revolution’ which increased the world’s food supply six fold in twenty years, brought about the great urban and suburban centers, and made it so a culture and economy could exist with less than a fourth of one percent of its population being farmers. Not only are fossil fuels responsible for all that supposed “progress” but it came about as the result of every increasing rates of use.

Read the rest of it here.

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