May 26, 2019

End of fossil energy

I was disappointed in Richard C. Hill’s letter (“Nuclear options missed,” BDN, July 16-17). I expected a different take from a man of his knowledge.

He admits there are limited reserves of natural gas so what are we going to do when those reserves and the oil reserves run out?

Geothermal, wood, wind, solar and waste account for 1.6 percent of electric power generation he says. With leadership not controlled by the oil cartels this can and must be changed with investment, tax incentives, education, innovation-and as soon as possible. Denmark, Germany and Japan are far ahead of us in sustainable energy use.

Nuclear is not the way to go because there is still no safe place for the spent fuel rods and there is finite uranium availability. The uranium ore requires fossil fuel for extraction.

Why do not Hill and the political pundits address the issue of the vast waste of fossil fuel and push for energy conservation? Jimmy Carter knew when he was president that the world was going to run out of fossil fuel. He lowered the speed limit, told everyone to turn down their thermostats and wear more sweaters. He had solar hot water panels on the roof of the White House.

In 1997 the Clinton administration proposed the Million Solar Homes Initiative. We should all be using those light bulbs that use less energy, travel less and build electric mass transportation.

In his book, “The End of Fossil Energy and a Plan for Sustainability” (McIntire Publishing), John Howe says, “With only the energy available from these non-fossil sources, it is paramount for survival that we design a new, low-energy lifestyle. Then we must plan on how to get to this new state with the remaining fossil energy we have left in the bank before it is frivolously used. If we lose this opportunity to change now, our chances for a modern civilization will be lost forever.”

Maria Riley


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