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Conserve now, renewables for the long term

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By The Staff

 The authors of the “Think twice ….” op-ed (Monitor, July 16, 2009) were correct in stating that at the current human consumption rate today’s scale of renewable energy production is devastatingly bleak.

Sharon Begley (Newsweek, March 23) summarized the outlook in scientific and engineering terms: “We cannot get there from here.”

The lack of knowledge needed in mankind’s search for substitutes for energy-dense liquid and other non-sustainable fossil fuels and minerals from the emerging sustainable and renewable sources is discouraging.

At first sight a nuclear-energy based future does appear to be attractive.

Unfortunately the authors suffer from a seriously short-sighted, nuclear-power driven agenda that is exclusively biased towards using nuclear energy sources.

They never advocate conservation which could quickly mitigate current and future energy and material needs without any new technology. In his highly acclaimed book “Sustainability by Design” the eminent MIT Engineering and Industrial Ecology Professor, John Ehrenfeld summarizes: “The vast majority of the human race don’t really ‘get it’ with regards to what’s truly ‘needed’ as opposed to what’s ‘wanted’…”


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