Friday, June 06, 2008

"Talking about a revolution...."

The New York TImes covers the report by the International Energy Agency calling for an "Energy Revolution" Sadly reading the article, it doesn't seem so much a call for a revolution as a desperate cry for help. In it, Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said the world would “essentially require a new global energy revolution which would completely transform the way we produce and use energy.”

In it, the paper report calls for overcoming objections to building nuclear power plants (sounds like a steal from Peter to pay Paul kind of move to me) and carbon sequestration underground (umm, they're called plants). Perhaps we need not a revolution in supply, but a revolution in consumption.

In Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard noted the following:

A study by Dr. Thomas M. Power at the University of Montana states that only 10-15 percent of the money Americans spend on goods and services is necessary for survival....People spend the other 85-90% of their money for upgrade in quality

A natural place to look for easy wins is that 85-90%, how much of that is petrol and carbon related. Our notions of mobility are painfully being transformed. I'm guilty, I really have a affection for travel, and air travel is essential...because my vacation time is so limited. Other modes of transportation are available if there was time elasticity. Or more important flexibility. If my travel was on train, I could use that time to do work as well. We have an incredible ability to time shift our tasks as they are market driven, not nature driven. For instance, farmers have to go with the seasons, our fashion seasons are arbitrarily agreed upon. We just have to listen... or as Tracy Chapman says....

Don't you know
They're talkin' about a revolution
It sounds like whisper


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