MichaelDw

The start of a new era

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Posted by Michael D on March 23, 2012

booo reblog

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From Small Beginnings

Posted by Michael D on December 4, 2010

Energy Makes the World go round

Imagine if you had to go outside and forage for some fuel so as to cook. Sticks might be difficult to come by in your suburb, so you would decide to make do with bread and garden salad instead of a roast. Or travel. imagine moving twenty kilometres without petrol. There is a prodigious amount of energy in petrol and diesel that makes it possible to drive anywhere you like with little effort. It would have made the kings and queens of old green with envy.

Electricity, petrol and gas are truly wonderful. Sources of energy should have been  taught at school in every geography, history, maths and science class because that’s how civilisation works. We have modern civilisation, leisure and inconvenience, only because of access to energy.

How would the country function without cheap supplies of energy? Over the last four thousand years people looked for easy sources of energy and chiefly found it in wood. Whole areas were clear-felled  of  trees for such things as cooking and smelting copper and iron. Then when the wood ran out, they used coal if it was available or peat. In those days, all transport required legs, or wind in the sales of ships. Wind as a source of energy worked very well but legs were slow and hard work.

The Transition Movement tackles the question of how we will get along in the future. It is aware of the decline in world oil supplies, Peak Oil. Modern society is now slowly becoming aware of environmental and greenhouse gas issues but I feel society is still ignoring the big one – energy supplies. Decreases in cheap energy will interrupt the way we live long before suburban Adelaide lifestyle is interrupted by climate change.

Dear to the hearts of transitioners is the idea of renewable energy. Those sailing ships of yesteryear did a great job; people sailed around the world and moved millions of tons of cargo, an impossible feat using the other form of transport, feet. There is now a huge effort in researching and applying alternative forms of energy from the sun and wind and some of this is starting to work. Things are still a little unbelievable however, if we look at humanity’s energy requirements which increase every year. Compare the current sources to the new sources of energy which are not so cheap and don’t produce as much. There will be a gap between the new supplies and future energy needs.

Happily, there is a great way to have more energy available for the important things – USE LESS. What’s more this radical solution is scalable from the home to the entire planet.

The Garden Philosopher.

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