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OIL AND COAL and debt

Posted by Ian McAdam on December 19, 2008

I am bemused by the news in Britain today.  It seems that Gordan Brown wants the oil supplying nations to be nice to the oil demanding nations, and that he expects those with an abundance of oil to invest in green energy.  What I find most farcical about all of this is that because the price of oil is so volatile, the British government is putting an inordinate amount of energy into open cast coal extraction without investing in research on how to burn the dirty old stuff cleanly.  This carbon capture malarkey might be possible in ten years time, but that is ten years too far away.

I am frightened by the direction we are travelling in.  Is it possible that the invention of the credit card was one of the biggest mistakes?  Give people an overdraft which can be paid back during economic downturns, but don’t inflate the property market to such an extentthat it makes millions homeless during economic weakness. Give them a credit card too? Shakkle everyone with debt which is never reflected in the balance of payments?

A fundamental change is needed.  Perhaps the World Bank could consider what Keynes once though a good idea — a universal currency.  It is time that the service sector shrank and human labour used to cut carbon emissions.  We have to ready ourselves for the day the oil runs out, so why not start restructuring the economy now?  Otherwise, the legacy we’re leaving for future generations does not bear thinking about.

So, Gordon, why not concentrate on creating more allotments, creating energy efficient transport links that cope with demand, and getting Britain to stop consuming its unfair share of the world’s resources.  Something has to give.  Something has to give.  I pray, something will change the economic fundamentals.

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3 Responses to “OIL AND COAL and debt”

  1. Yes! I need a new job, and I want it to be in biofuels research so yes, improve the economy and invest in non-fossil fuels so that there will be a job opening for me! If I wish it, will it come true? I have no idea how to make things right in the world, so all I can do is wish.

  2. Ian McAdam said

    Sam, Thanks you. Biofuels are a part of the solution, but with food demand, a very tricky issua. Perhaps if more people were vegetarians, or even just ate two fewer portions of meat a weak, and so much plant matter was not fed to animals, there would be room for both bio fuels and food demand.

  3. By the way, the biofuels that I am interested in are made by algae using sunlight as an energy source–they do not require arable land or food crops, and can be grown in waste water with carbon dioxide from power plants etc.! I’m not into ethanol from corn or other plants–I don’t think that is going to work, because in addition to the problems you mentioned (using food crops), there are the issues of the energy input required (by some estimates, greater than the energy output of the ethanol!) and in part because the infrastructure is not there to move it (because ethanol, unlike oil, would pick up water, the pipes would end up rusting). See http://www.greencrudeproduction.com/

    I am absolutely pro lower meat consumption, as you may imagine. It would help so many things (health, the environment, hunger (because crops would not be diverted to animals, as you mentioned), animal welfare…).

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