We're doomed

Your Blogscientist is depressed. It may be necessary to take what I say with some salt, or sugar, or something. What brought this on is a longish article I read on zfacts.com, Peak Oil or Liquid Coal?

I was always under the general impression that oil ruled because, with all the subsidies it gets, it's the cheapest and most convenient fuel around. Numbers periodically floated out saying that solar would be competitive at $70 per barrel oil, or $100, or some astronomical sum. Well, we're there. Any day now, I figured, people would wake up from their mass hypnosis and realize that everybody except Big Oil wins when we start moving to solar and conservation.

Then I saw this on zfacts:
[Coal gasification] could produce gasoline for the equivalent of about $55 per barrel of oil. This has not yet happened because investors are afraid the price of oil will fall back below $55 as soon as they build a coal-to-gasoline plant.


Fifty-five dollars? Sure, that means current subsidies have to stay in place, but how much do you want to bet they will if it gives people a chance at $55 barrel oil? Also, Big Oil wins, which is way more important than everybody winning.

So now I'm convinced that too many people will race to hell down a path made of coal gas. They'll do it as soon as the reality of peak oil penetrates through their ivory skulls and into that air space they use for brains. Once coal-to-gas infrastructure starts being built, we'll have another whole wall of vested interests blocking off a real solution. And who cares if the planet fries? That's tomorrow. ... Until it's today. And then we'll have disasters to worry about. Namby-pamby hippy stuff like solar energy won't even be on the map.

When has a crowd of people ever done anything different when they could do the same old thing at the same--or less--cost?

So I say we're doomed.


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