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?

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The answer appears to be a clear no.

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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


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