Saturday, December 20, 2008

Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz! (a book by Dr. Louis Arnoux)

For: Running on Air
By: Boom San Agustin

On the basis of massive and rapidly mounting evidence a fast growing international community of scientists, engineers and businesspersons, have concluded that humankind is in the midst of a global energy and ecological emergency of humankind’s own making. This emergency puts our species on a suicidal course unless it is resolutely addressed immediately. We consider that it is no longer tenable to conduct government or business affairs in ways that are largely disconnected from this reality. Humankind no longer has the leisure to take decades to decide what to do.

Forty years ago, in 1968, millions of young people had the intuition that humankind approached some kind of turning point. That turmoil soon abated and the world plunged into predatory consumerist globalization with a vengeance. In the early 1970s, however, the first substantial warnings about the probable consequences were published (e.g. The famous Limits to Growth, Club of Rome Report of 1972 “…systematically rubbished ever since by countless pundits that mostly did not have the background to do so and relentlessly corroborated to this day by new data and new analyses…”). Since then some 36 precious years have been wasted. The consequences are now upon us. We do not have the 50 years or so that are still mentioned in so many reports as the timeframe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for example. We do not even have 20 years. The emerging consensus is that action must take place now and that there are hardly 10 years left to make significant global inroads towards a transition to sustainable ways of life and of doing business – with the ensuing decades devoted to the hard work of global consolidation. Failing this, the prospects for humankind are extremely grim.

Recently, in their book, Climate Code Red - the case for emergency action (2008), David Spratt and Philip Sutton have made it clear, in a bluntly honest fashion, that it is necessary to immediately begin (1) phasing out the use of coal, oil and gas as fuels to achieve zero greenhouse gases (GHG) emission globally within a couple of decades, (2) reducing GHG in the atmosphere to pre-industrialization levels and (3) cooling the planet by at least 0.3°C. In our view, they are unfortunately absolutely correct.

In Climate Code Red Spratt and Sutton, for example, focus on a war economy type of emergency response involving heavy-handed compulsory governmental action, based on comparatively scarce resources and entailing considerable hardship. While agreeing to the necessity and urgency of a global emergency response, Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz adopts a very different approach to show that it is feasible to set in place an effective and rapid alternative emergency response without the hardship.

Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz shows that the global emergency extends well beyond mere "climate change", to encompass all facets of what makes human life possible on this planet. Instead of the longer term threats of climate change, the most immediate danger concerns the peaking of all fossil fuels supplies and the related and extremely worrying rapid decline in net energy available from fossil fuels. One is reminded of the proverbial possum transfixed in the headlights of an oncoming car, just before it is about to be crushed by a B-train truck rushing in from behind. The car is climate change, while the B-train truck is nil net energy from fossil fuels before 2030.

Like the possum fixated on the car's headlights, over the last three years it appears that many people among the general public have embraced so-called “Climate Change” as a kind of new creed. With a kind of puritan zeal they have taken as an article of faith that there cannot be any salvation without a considerable measure of pain in the form of various heavy-handed government interventions, increased scarcity, increased frugality, increased prices for basic items like electricity, fuels, transport, food and so on – “the cold baths by candle light syndrome”. All the while, the policy focus remains firmly on a long-term time horizon, typically 2050, to achieve, maybe moderate reductions in greenhouse gases, i.e. far too late to handle the global emergency.

Instead, in Europe and North America, this emergency is also increasingly presented as an unprecedented business opportunity for growth and renewed prosperity. The contrast could not be greater. Instead of the “super-thrifty” miserly attitude of the “climate changers”, the emerging view is that the challenges present a unique opportunity for a turn to substantial cost reductions and sustainable enhanced prosperity without the need for highly unpalatable restrictive government measures. This is the view Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz expands upon to demonstrate how this is feasible by emulating what nature does best.

In response to the emergency, Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz shows that there is no energy scarcity. Each year the earth receives from the sun huge amounts of energy, many times more than humankind will ever possibly require. Humans create scarcity not nature. Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz also shows that meanwhile, each year we, in Australasia, collectively spend some $48 billion on waste heat to very little effect and that globally this wastage extends into the trillion dollars. Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz outlines a 100% Solar and Sustainable Initiative based on an innovative financial and business model and cutting edge Information, Communications, Energy and Transport technology package (ICET) that enables tapping into those wasted funds to open a rapid transition out of fossil fuel use and to fully sustainability.

Not only can the 100% Solar and Sustainable Initiative be implemented in ways that cost significantly less than what we currently pay for energy, transport, and communications, but its objectives can be achieved without massive, highly punitive and economically injurious government intervention. Instead the bulk of such an emergency response can be implemented totally commercially, competitively. It would result in enhanced prosperity, substantially increased employments and enhanced ways of life for all.

Source: IT MDI Energy

The Author

Dr Louis Arnoux, is Managing Director of IT MDI – Energy Ltd and of the IndraNet Group of companies. His entire work is focused on facilitating the future proofing against the present global emergency of the corporate and individual customers of the companies he contributed to create. In doing so his aim is to enable their extremely rapid transition to sustainable ways of life and doing business that cost substantially less than contemporary business-as-usual. This blogger shares the views of Dr. Arnoux, expressed in his book, Peak Oil, Climate Change and All that Jazz.


Boom San Agustin said...

Guys! You can download the e-book by clicking on the picture of the book! It's absolutely FREE! :)

gnomædh said...

Excellent write-up... well summarized.

didier said...

Thank you, Boom, for this article. Did you know that a photovoltaic field of the size of France, when put for instance in the Sahara, or spread on different hot spots over the world, would suffice to fulfill the needs of the planet? And the transport losses can be overcome by using a new technique: transport of electricity by direct current (DC) instead of AC.
Let's follow the example of Germany, that has many gray and cold days, but that is becoming Numero Uno in Europe, putting ph cells everywhere on roofs and in fields. How do they do it? They charge one Euro per month on conventional energy and use that money for subsidising the solar energy initiatives.
Meanwhile here in Belgium near where I live (Antwerp that is)EON (a German company, of all!!) is planning to buil a new huge coal burning facility. Oh when will they ever learn, as the song goes...

Boom San Agustin said...

Yes Didier! I agree! Germany's plan is outstanding!