On the News

Today we were told the news
As it happened
And when more happened
They told us the news again

At the current rate of news
the energy runs out quite soon
A quick flash in the Pan of concern
replaced by a few murders

Car accidents consumed the next day
And traffic troubles when
Quite a few hours afterwards
A child was run over

Consumption was rife
And so was extinction
Their quid pro quo relationship
left out of the news

Facts aside
sacrificed to entertainment
The truth
starts making the news

Replacement

By 2030 the EU aims to generate 27% of its energy from renewable sources. However, the renewable-energy sector in Europe is heavily reliant on hydrocarbons for the supply of raw materials critical for the development of technology such as solar cells and wind turbines.

Click to access chinese_supply_critical_raw_materials_pose_long_term_risks_european_wind_solar_industries_494na1_en.pdf

Rumours

I have started to hear the consequences of my consumption
In broad daylight my armoire accuses me of killing an Amazonian frog to create it
My iPad, calls to me at night, asking how many acres of habitat were disrupted, in order to mine its contents
My batteries cry themselves to sleep, and dream of the deaths of the soon to be extinct flamingos
My coffee cup mocks me in the morning, for assuming it can be infinitely recreated
My windmills joust at me on the weekend, in recognition that a millenia of stored solar energy was repurposed to last a mere 15 or so years
The entire planet whispers at me, entropy

Myth 1

Renewables are renewable using renewable energy

Only by doing several (presumably fatal) experiments is it possible to know what will break the back of a camel.

Is it doubtful, based on the laws of physics, whether a battery or any other renewable source can be made without a surplus supply of energy.

Economics tells us we can increase our GDP simply by increasing our material wealth utilising such methods as increasing the debt coefficient inherent in the cost of housing, by increasing the velocity of money or by using concentrated solar energy to capture diffuse energy by the means of other physical infrastructure such as ‘renewables’.

This growth in GDP does not mean the GDP fueled economy is energetically sustainable and in fact, logically, it points in the other direction. From a purely economic view, things tend to get more expensive as scarcity increases.

From an energetic viewpoint, using the stored solar energy of a few hundred million years, to create a storage system, with hugely negative environmental side effects, that lasts for 15-20 years is the height of folly.

A focus on maintenance rather than growth would quickly disabuse the market of the ‘renewable based on an Infiniti supply’ myth.

The myth of the energetically sustaible economy is popular and strong because it tells us everything will remain the same, only better.

Which is of course what we want to hear, imagine someone telling you that half of the worlds stored energy had been used to create an infrastructure, with a 50-70 year lifespan totally dependent on being recreated by the half we have already used.

Next time you ride under that freeway, wonder how it will be recreated in 30 years or so, from a a solar panel that wore out 10 years ago