RE: Energy sources in the next 20 years

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Mon Jan 12 2004 - 19:59:21 EST

Scotland actually installed some experimental wave power generators. The
waves along that coast are big and have lots of energy. The equipment
worked really well until the very first storm came along and ripped the
anchors out of the ocean bottom, and then destroyed the equipment by
smashing it against the cliffs.

As to the 10 sq miles of Pacific to provide energy for California, can you
imagine the environmental impact of shadowing that large an area of ocean,
the impact on sea life etc. Once again, I imagine that the 100 year storm
will rip everything apart. Having stood on a beach in the North Sea on a
high wind day, The waves are incredibly powerful.
Al wrote:
> One of the problems with reading reports in the energy area (as in many
> areas today), is that there tends to be a black-white dichotomy. Either
> the world is never going to run out of energy because of all the great
> technology and there will only be minor bumps in the road, or else the
> world is headed straight for anarchy and complete chaos and nothing can
> save us. I try to find a realistic position. From this viewpoint I am
> not convinced that ocean power is going to help much.

The first thing which will attempt to replace oil will be LNG (liquified
natural gas). The entire industry has gone gaga over building the plants.
There is a fair amount of stranded natural gas, but it is stranded because
it costs too much to build the pipelines.

> Right now, after reading extensively in the energy depletion area I am
> most concerned about the eventual food supply as it relates to energy.
> It seems that we are getting the great yields from our farms by
> fertilizers that are derived from fossil fuels. For one perspective on
> this read the following:
> Eating Fossil Fuels by Dale Allen Pfeiffer
> I suspect this article is on the pessimistic side, ( I hope so.) but I
> think it makes some very valid points and presents real concerns as
> well.
> I would like to hear what others think of this article.

I mention a bit of this issue on my web site. I agree that the modern
agricultural system is merely a means of turning oil into food. The
pre-petroleum/fertilizer corn yield was around 20 bushels per acre. Today
it is around 120. When the fertilizer runs out yields will decline. To see
what happens without natural gas to make fertilizer, look at North Korea and
their bountiful 'well-fed' population.
Received on Mon Jan 12 19:59:52 2004

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