March/April 2006 and July/August 2007
Biofuels: Science or Fiction, by Ron Swenson [2007 July/August]
"The quest to reduce our oil addiction and to develop new liquid fuels has a new focus, the siren song of biofuels — literally and figuratively, the last straw."
|click here to view the articles (pdf)|
Dawn of the Solar Era, five articles, see below [2006 March/April]
"I grew up to the strains of the musical Oklahoma and thought that everything was up to date in Kansas City. I expected to find all of the houses here with solar collectors on them. However, I found that the drive toward solar energy here is substantially slower than would be indicated by economics, by environmental concern, or by a desire to build a city that is in the best interests of the citizens of today, or the children of tomorrow. Kansas City is not unique in this regard. The same can be said for most of America and for most of the world.
"This is tragic. For we are in serious trouble. We are in trouble as a nation and as a civilization. America runs on oil, and for the last ten years we’ve been running out. Domestic production, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, peaked in 1969 and it has been going down steadily for the last decade.
"As a consequence, we have turned increasingly to foreign sources for this most valuable of our energy sources. In the process, almost without realizing it, we have stumbled into a vulnerable position. This vulnerability was brought home with traumatic emphasis in 1973-1974 during the Arab oil embargo.
"As a result of the oil embargo of 1973-1974, an interagency group of the federal government developed a crude but far-reaching national energy plan known as Project Independence. It is perhaps fitting in 1980 to look back on the ambitious goal of Project Independence, which was to make the United States a net exporter of energy by 1980. It is now 1980, and we import three times as much oil from the Middle East as we did in 1972, the year before the embargo."
"When Parliaments decide on energy policy, they normally start with proposals from the government. Governments like to swim in the mainstream – and they get information and advice from so called experts of organizations such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
But up to now you barely find an international body who is in favour of renewables. Why is this so?"