Monday, August 26, 2013

Finite fossils, energy poverty, and other benchmarks

I will be mostly off line through Labor Day as I attempt some vacation time in northern New York with family. Upon my return, I expect to follow-up with a post about the status of natural gas infrastructure in New York, and another about highly-anticipated health studies that are purportedly key to the outcome of the shale gas decision in New York.

Meantime, I offer some raw material for reflection through a very wide lens. First, a quote, cited in my last post by President Obama during his visit to Binghamton last week:

The bottom line is those (fossil fuels) are still finite resources.  Climate change is real.  The planet is getting warmer.  And you’ve got several billion Chinese, Indians, Africans and others who also want cars, refrigerators, electricity. And as they go through their development cycle, the planet cannot sustain the same kinds of energy use as we have right now.  So we’re going to have to make a shift.

Second, a short film from a fracking skeptic about renewable energy development in parts of the developed world and Germany in particular. It’s part of a series called Shale Gas Stories by Kirsi Jansa, an independent film-maker.

Third, a clip from a multi-media project depicting energy poverty – the term for the abject absence of fundamental resources, mostly in undeveloped countries -- by Peter DiCampo, another independent filmmaker. DiCampo’s work, title Life Witout Lights, makes tangible an idea that is mostly a distant abstraction for many of us who never have lived long without power at our fingertips.

I find each of these perspectives compelling and provocative in its own right. Collectively, they provide no outline or theme that suggests a broad and simple answer, but they give plenty to think about.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the homework Mr. Wilber. He says enthusiastically while polishing the apple.

    Have a great Labor Day holiday.