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Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XVII

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh XVII

Teotihuacan, Mexico (1986) Photo by author

‘Renewables’. They will save us! This is one of the most common beliefs being bandied about by the ruling class and especially those that stand to profit from a shift to them in an attempt to power our complex society. I would argue, however, that we are not being told some uncomfortable truths about such a shift. Here is my comment to a Tyee article that discusses the city of Vancouver’s plan to address air pollution.

“…shifting industrial power sources from coal to renewables…”

As Mike Tyson is credited with saying: “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.”

And the face punch here is the fact that many industrial processes cannot be shifted to renewables — to say little about the fact that renewables also rely heavily upon the industrial processes that depend upon fossil fuels and simply externalise the pollutants/ecological destruction required to ‘energise’ technology.

Here are a handful of articles that explain why alternatives are inadequate for significant industrial processes we rely upon:

But let’s be frank, the Overton Window being forced upon this discussion (i.e., the only choice for our energy-intensive society is to shift from fossil fuels to ‘renewables’), including by many journalists, completely ignores some harsh realities, such as biophysical limits on a finite planet and thermodynamics. The assumption seems to be always that we can only fight climate change (ignoring all the other ecologically-destructive consequences of our constant pursuit of growth) by shifting away from fossil fuels (a high-density and easily transportable fuel that supports almost everything about our globalised and industrial complex world) to ‘renewable’ forms of energy (that are not truly renewable and especially not ‘green/clean’).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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