The goals of technology need to be examined very carefully. For example, the goal of making things “more efficient” seems laudable in many contexts. BUT the mindless pursuit of efficiency can become a tragic distraction and dangerous diversion from the larger problem of moving humanity collectively away from its large and growing dependence upon fossilized carbon energy sources.
We need to keep clear in our minds that the goal is not simply to become more efficient in the use of fossil fuels, but rather to displace them entirely and move to a zero-carbon emission fuel system based on the infinite supply of throughput solar energy. Efficiency, properly conceived, needs to foster the transition from our current fossil fuel dependence toward solar sustainability. If it fails to do this “efficiency” itself is not a virtue and may well be counter-productive, since it could serve to keep alive the illusion of heightened consumerism and continuous growth.
Published on Aug 12, 2018
Jamarl Thomas interview from 11 August 2018. Intro from Edge of Extinction: Consequences of an Ice-Free Arctic Ocean.
Lorraine Chow Aug. 30, 2018 12:22PM EST
A Canadian court “quashed” approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on Thursday, a major setback for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government agreed to purchase the controversial project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion Canadian dollars (U.S. $3.5 billion) in May.
It’s a stunning victory for Indigenous groups and environmentalists opposed to the project, which is designed to nearly triple the amount of tar sands transported from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.
The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the National Energy Board’s review—as explained by the Canadian Press—”was so flawed that the federal government could not rely on it as a basis for its decision to approve the expansion.”
The project has been at the center of widespread protests from environmental groups and First Nations ever since November 2016, when Trudeau approved a $7.4 billion expansion of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline that would increase the transport of Alberta tar sands oil from the current 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day and increase tanker traffic nearly seven-fold through the Burrard Inlet.
Local action is leading the way — Be part of the movement that’s ending the era of fossil fuels and building 100% renewable energy for all.
On September 8, we’re planning thousands of rallies in cities and towns around the world to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that puts people and justice before profits.
No more stalling, no more delays: it’s time for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all.
Find an event near you.
Tim Weiskel 30 August 2018
[An excerpt from the final lecture in a series on “Climate Change and Transition Studies” offered to a group of Chinese students known as the “Young Scholars’ Online Learning Initiative” organized by IvyMind Consulting, LLC.]
A related course on “European Colonial Expansion & Its Aftermath: The Historical, Ecological and Cultural Consequence of 1492” contains the historical background to the kinds of transitions that are now needed for human survival.
Program episodes related to both of these courses can be found at: “Conversations in Transition Studies.” In particular, see:
We need to learn to run a finite system on the
infinite throughput of solar energy: