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July 17, 2006



Good plan except for the fact that coal if used as replacement for oil will run out in about 60 years. Oil Shale needs natural gas and water which will run out also.

Watch this lecture on growth and the use of resources and then have another look at this plan.

From the transcript:
This is one of the most dangerous statements in the literature. It's dangerous because its true, it isn't the truth that makes it dangerous, the danger lies in the fact that people take the sentence apart, they just say coal will last 500 years. They forget the caveat with which the sentence started. Now what were those opening words, "at current levels", what does that mean? That means if, and only if we maintain zero growth of coal production.

So let's look at a few numbers. We go to the annual energy review, published by the dept of energy (DOE). They give this as a coal demonstrated reserve base in the United States, it has a footnote that says about half the demonstrated reserve base is estimated to be recoverable. You can not recover and get out of the ground and use 100% of the coal that's there. So this number then, is ½ of this number. We will come back again to those in just a moment. The report also tells us that in 1971 we were mining coal at this rate, twenty years later its at this rate, put those numbers together and the average growth rate of coal production in that twenty years is 2.86% per year. And so we have to ask, well, how long would a reserve last if you have steady growth in the rate of consumption until the last bit of it is used.

"I'll show you the equation here for the expiration time. I'll tell you it takes first year college calculus to derive that equation, so it can't be very difficult. You know I have a feeling there must be dozens of people in this country who've had first year college calculus, but let me suggest, I think that equation is probably the best kept scientific secret of the century!

Now let me show you why, if you used that equation to calculate the life expectancy of the reserve base, or the one half they think is recoverable for different steady rates of growth, you'll find if the growth rate is zero, the small estimate would go about 240 years and the large one would go close to 500 years. So that report to the congress was correct. But look what we get if we plug in steady growth. Back in the 1960's it was our national goal to achieve growth of coal production up around 8% per year. If you could achieve that and continue it, coal would last between 37 - 46 years. President Carter cut that goal roughly in half, hoping to reach 4% per year if that could continue coal would last between 59-75 years. Here's that 2.86%, the average for the recent period of twenty years, if that could continue coal would last between 72-94 years. That's within the life expectancy of children born today. The only way you are going to get any where near this wild quote, this 500 year figure, is to be able to simultaneously do two highly improbable things."


Only 16% from efficiency improvements? Over our current status of moms chit-chatting on a cell phone while carreening through town with no one else... in an 8000 pound vehicle? This little gem sounds like it could have been produced by... The Energy Industry, doesn't it?


Was this a study commissioned by "Homeland Security"?

They're doing a "heckuva" job on other fronts. It would fit the pattern. Good work!

Harvey D.

An energy security plan based mostly on non-renewables is by nature NOT sustainable. This one seems to be dictated by coal and ethanol industries and is not so good for USA in the longer term.

A progressive switch to massive production of clean electricity (sun, wind, waves and nuclear) and electricity driven transportation vehicles such as PHEVs and EVs, electric trains + buses, electrical HVAC for our homes would be much more sustainable while reducing GHG.

The majority of the liquid fuel consumed by our vehicles and our homes for HVAC could be replaced with 50 sq. meters of high efficiency solar panels and storage devices. Liquid fuels should be restricted to airplanes, ships and war machines.


Harvey D said: "...Liquid fuels should be restricted to airplanes, ships and war machines."

Yeah! Yeah! Forget Global Warming and Climate Change... Lets just blow each other up!

Excuse me for being pedantic.

Just sounded funny to me...

"Mother and children driving around in M1A1 Abrahms or Challenger 2 MBTs!

Forget SUV's they're yesterdays news... the new one is THE MAIN BATTLE TANK ... only 30 gallons to the mile fuel economy! Classic!"


If everyone agrees that energy security is a problem - you might think governments would consider a kind of progressive extra tax on big cars and trucks - not yet I guess.

Harvey D.


War machines are going to be around for a long long time.

Electric fighter planes, long range bombers, flying bombs, heavy tanks, troop carriers, transport planes etc are not on the horizon yet.

What energy would you use?


Harvey D:

"War machines are going to be around for a long long time.

Electric fighter planes, long range bombers, flying bombs, heavy tanks, troop carriers, transport planes etc are not on the horizon yet.

What energy would you use?"

Bush: "Yo' Blair, here's 1500 hundred nuke-clear powered supertanks we just developed"

Who needs gasoline when we have nuke-clear... as G.W. would say.

Hmmm... Asside from that point I thought the report was ok - if alittle biased against argicultural energy crops.

Also - THEY NEED TO PUT REFERENCES INTO THE REPORTS... how can one scrutinise their figures??? I couldn't find any refernces in the original report!

oilfield equipment

this is such a cool technology. this is so interesting how this works.

Fashion Books

Energy is not dependent on oil. Glad that we as a nation are not dependent on others to provide that for us.

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