Q. Dear Umbra,
I am very interested in mitigating the effects of Peak Oil. Please tell me how BEST to encourage solar and wind technology. I would also like to encourage investment in new green energy and food research.
St. Louis, Mo.
A. Dearest Jeff,
That’s a busy summer you’ve laid out for yourself. You don’t mention whether you have actual resources with which to encourage new technology, or just good will, so I shall have to guess.
But first, a word on peak oil. This term was coined in the 1950s to describe that time when planetary oil production would peak, then begin to slow down, and finally leave us all standing, bewildered and slack-jawed, in an oil-free future. Estimates of when this peak would occur have varied over time, and recent reports suggest it ain’t gonna happen any time soon, given new discoveries of oil from the Great White North to the deep blue sea.
So you might not need to worry about peak oil per se, Jeff. But we absolutely should worry about our oil addiction. The burning of oil and other filthy fossil fuels is doing a number on our climate. The less we use, the better off we’ll be.
How can you encourage the transition to cleaner energy? I can think of a few things to try.