This piece on EnergyBulletin is brilliant, and by that I mean it makes arguments I like to make.

Can we simply switch out oil for other fuels? No:

The question is: can production from non-conventional sources such as the Alberta tar sands or synthetic fuels using coal-to-liquids (CTL) technology be ramped up to anything even approaching a supply deficit of 22 million barrels per day by 2015?

Grist relies on the support of generous readers like you. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

The answer appears to be a clear no.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Not by a long shot.

So what’s the answer?

Rather than focusing only on what I see as futile and costly attempts to continue to grow the supply of liquid fuels, efforts must be redirected to the demand side:

  • efficiency (doing more with less); conservation (just doing less);
  • designing compact, walkable urban communities;
  • emphasizing public transit including electric light rail;
  • switching to biofuels and other renewable energy sources;
  • relocalising organic food production, and so on


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.