Who needs Oil and Coal?

Essential for the Industrial Revolution but what about today?

Having a look at some of the oil exploration figures and pricing for electricity last weekend, I thought I might see how much the cost of oil might need to be before it is more economic to run cars and other transport on electricity. With the sun shining brightly and lots of electricity going into the grid from my PV panels, I started to think of how far away it might be before we are living in a very different world. A world as different as it was when my father was born into a world where private transport was by horse or walking, telephones were rarely in private homes and electricity was only just becoming commonplace for lighting.

As any reader (there are some of you) would know by now, I am firmly of the opinion that the most reliable and economic way to supply the energy needed for a fair and equitable world (this means a roughly even standard of energy consumption globally that matches the middle ranks of OECD countries) is to generate electricity from solar thermal power plants and also take advantage of geothermal energy sources. The impediments to these technologies are industrial inertia (because the dominant paradigm is to dig up and burn coal) and the relative cost differential for solar generated electricity vs fossil fuels.

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Young People Today …

Who is at fault?

Let us not listen to those who think we ought to be angry with our enemies, and who believe this to be great and manly. Nothing is so praiseworthy, nothing so clearly shows a great and noble soul, as clemency and readiness to forgive.

Marcus Tullius Cocero

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. AKA – The Golden Rule

My mother. Her mother ... and so on

If young people today are so bad (eg the Cronulla Riots) then it is because they have us as an example to follow… The debacle in our Federal Parliament over what is a relatively small number of refugees coming to Australia by boat is just shameful. These people are elected to represent their constituents, sure. That does not mean that they lose all responsibility.

The argument that they represent the views of their electorate is a poor one. It is a minority of their electorates who would make the decision themselves to let hundreds of people die when they could save them. But vocal minorities who do not want anyone “to jump queues” get to make the decisions because they get heard in the media. Since when was queue jumping punishable by death? Rather than find a humane and sensible approach to processing people trying to enter the country without a permit (legally by International conventions Australia has signed up to), the political parties prefer to allow hundreds of people to die. Why? Sadly it is to score political points and nothing more. May history condemn you, who by your failure to act humanely, cause others to die.