Blog author: jballor
by on Thursday, January 12, 2006

Continuing the discussion of energy usage from yesterday, check out this review in the New York Sun of Children of the Sun (W.W. Norton), by Alfred Crosby, emeritus professor of history, geography, and American studies at the University of Texas.

Reviewer Peter Pettus says that Crosby “has written a direct and clearly expressed analysis of the energy problem without hysterics, apocalyptic threats, or partisan rancor.” These, of course, are the precisely the characteristics that are so often found in discussions of energy policy.

Crosby finds that the essence of the problem is this: “we cannot solve the growing problem of our dwindling supplies of fossil fuels by turning to such popular palliatives as wind farms and solar panels, because to do so would condemn millions of our fellow humans to inevitable death. The answer to this dilemma is (as always): We must somehow find new sources of energy. The question is: where?”

Crosby does not rest at simply raising the question, but attempts to find a solution. Must we find a new answer, some novel technology as yet undreamt of? No, for “it already exists: the nuclear reactor waits at our elbow like a superb butler.”

  • http://tomgrey.motime.com Tom Grey – Liberty Dad

    I like nukes, but out of how many, 3000 in the world?, one was Chernobyl.
    “It can never happen again.”
    No way to prove it.
    Nukes are only possible with massive gov’t support (limited liability).

    Alternative: Higher prices for gas — up to 50% in gov’t revenue coming from gas prices, so that folk “choose” to live closer to work. (Lower taxes on income and sales) And travel less, in more efficient cars/ bikes.

    Each month the US gov’t should have a contest on a different tech, or set of techs: Best solar photo-voltaics in June; best solar concentrated heating in July; best wind farms in August; best wood heating in January.