Monday, June 19, 2006

Fuel Efficiency -1-

The BIG word today is OIL. Another big one is efficiency which derives a series of other ones like biofuels,hybrid cars and the end of oil dependecy for many developed countries. Well, still, it is highly improbable that this will happend in the near future. A couple of reasons why: 1. biofuels are not viable since the return on energy investment is still quite low comparing to what we put in producing it and the constraints (labor, land, water, pesticides, etc) show that is not possible to run (even parts) of the economy on such sources; 2.oil dependency will probably accentuate regardless of the ambitions of one or the other (poles of power in the world) and it is very possible to see quite some bids in the (near) future between countries for the "black gold" 3.hybrid cars in principle are good since they decrease the amount used per km/mile but as Jevon's paradox shows to any economist we will probably end-up consuming more gas since we will be inclined to travel more and take advantage in the latter reduction.
Thus, ceteris paribus, the Hubert peak (of oil) predicted for 2005, may in fact have happened or happening soon. No worries for me though -> no car-> no trouble?:)) but sudden drops can deeply cripple economies, societies, countries and individuals. After all, we are so much dependant on fossil fuels and of course they are finite (especially the high energy content one e.g. gas, oil)

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