I Really Should Cite My Sources

May 9, 2007 at 3:37 am Leave a comment

As I explained (briefly) last post, things have been a bit slow around here because I’m busy writing an essay on biofuels, with which I hope to win a scholarship to fund my studies next year. For the record, if I don’t manage to score some scholarships somewhere, I am fucked.

But that in itself is nothing compared to the way the entire world is fucked. I’ve been studying energy policy for the essay, and it paints a frightening picture of the world to come. Peak oil, net-losses in energy production, depleted uranium reserves… yikes. Basically every non-renewable fuel source is shockingly strained. Even nuclear power is in trouble; uranium reserves could only supply world demand for 20 years before we ran out of that, too. They could always use it to create enough plutonium for 100 years of fuel, but then you have a bunch of plutonium lying around, and no one wants that.

Even worse, “renewable energies” are startlingly inefficient. Solar power is promising but the technology is prohibitively expensive, ethanol fuel from corn actually costs more energy to make than it produces, and wind power has never really been more than a stop-gap procedure anyway.

The good news? Orphans are a surprisingly rich source of oil, and their parents most certainly won’t complain if we drill it out of them.

Oh, and I guess there’s the whole human ingenuity thing to. I suppose that might help down the road.

I should probably have a point in mind when I write posts about science. Precise figures and examples would be nice, too. Of course, that would require I write more science posts in the first place.

Editor’s Note: Studying energy policy is a chilling thing. There is some good news (for example, cane sugar biofuels are generally efficient) but as a whole things aren’t that great, on account of, you know, the oil situation. We seriously need to get some of that sweet, sweet fusion up ins.

Also, I did manage to get a scholarship and thus was not fucked. Awesome!


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