Tuesday, January 17, 2006

In other words, it's entirely feasible that human beings have the capability to live sustainably upon the earth, without using up resources at the expense of future generations. I guess I didn't think that finishing my master's degree would contribute any progress toward that goal. And if we must be real, the reason for my leave of absence has to do with the issue of peak oil. That is to say, the possibility/probability that a peak in the global supply of oil will trigger a global economic collapse.

I came into this with a fire to promote renewable energy. What I came away with is that the concept of unlimited growth is still firmly entrenched in our society/culture. Perhaps in my deluded mind I felt that not finishing my master's degree was in some way a repudiation of the status quo.

Resource economics would suggest that once a resource peaks, the price will increase stimulating alternatives and investment in "production". But what if no viable alternatives exist and there isn't anymore to "produce"? Don't get me wrong, I still love renewables and the idea of a completely distributed energy production grid, but let's be real. No renewable energy source can match the energy density of petroleum, but their very natures. So, I worry. And I take little bitty baby steps like engaging in discourse as much as I can.

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