Can a Coming Energy Crisis Top the Wall Street Disaster?

Oct 13


Klaus H Hemsath

Klaus H Hemsath

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The recent Wall Street disaster reminds us that citizens cannot trust industry. Greed has invaded the most profitable companies to an unacceptable and destructive degree. US citizens must consider the banking crisis as a wake up call for preventing the oil and energy industries from creating an even more destructive energy catastrophe. We must outlaw fossil fuels and begin to produce renewable fuels for keeping the US secure.


We are experiencing right now what unbridled greed can do to a hardworking country. The effects of Wall Street's fraud are becoming very painful for the working stiff,Can a Coming Energy Crisis Top the Wall Street Disaster? Articles who have no choice but to entrust the results of their life's toils to our country's banks. These same banks have become the most profitable sector of the US economy.

Right now, these banks have stopped extending credit to large and small enterprises, to customers who have been paying dearly for borrowing working capital for decades.

The effects will be felt throughout the US economy and will lead to hardships for millions of bank customers, will accelerate an ongoing recession, and may force our country into a depression.

An equally profitable economic sector of the US economy, the oil and energy industry, is following policies that may drive our country into an even more disastrous situation that will be more difficult to correct, and will deadlock our economy not for years but for decades, if not corrected in time.

Indigenous and foreign petroleum reserves are being depleted across the world and will not last much longer than 50 years. Continuing petroleum combustion will increase atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations by another 25%. Increasing carbon dioxide emissions from coal and natural gas combustion will increase atmospheric concentrations even higher than 600 ppm before 2050. A concentration of 600 ppm is the absolute maximum that can be endured by our planet and its inhabitants.

The most immediate and economically most damaging consequences of our continuing profligate use of petroleum products will be the steady increase of gasoline and diesel fuel prices at the pump. These price increases will eventually have effects similar to the presently developing credit crunch.

US Congress has found the will to legislate measures that hopefully have a chance of easing credit and of allowing our economy to resume its normal activities, eventually.

There are is no similar oversight for assuring that the US oil industry is developing actionable plans for replacing petroleum with renewable petroleum substitutes, which do not emit greenhouse gases. US coal and natural gas industries have not found it necessary to prepare for a future, in which all fossil fuel combustion must be outlawed. These same industries are still not held liable for the irreversible ecological damages they inflict on our Earth.

Any person with rational abilities and a basic understanding of a few scientific facts must conclude that the world's economies will run into an abyss, if we cannot change our ways of using energy. We especially cannot tolerate the continuing increases of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, which are leading irreversibly to global overheating and destructive climate changes.

On the other hand, we cannot dare letting scarce petroleum make our transportation systems unaffordable for the average consumer, we cannot suffer the consequences of a sudden stop of all our transportation systems at the instance we run out of petroleum, and our Armed Forces cannot defend our country without plentiful fuels.

If the supply of gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuels for automobiles, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes ever breaks down, we will experience a crisis that will be far more severe and much more damaging than the 2008 financial crisis.

Because we cannot let these ruinous events happen, we must demand from US Congress and our administrations that they begin to conceive plans and install controls that will make a future breakdown of the energy system impossible.

Such controls must assure that the energy industry will convert its energy supplies during the coming couple of decades from fossil fuel based energy forms to renewable energies. These new energy supplies must also assure that we can continue to use our huge, irreplaceable investments into our transportation infrastructures consisting of automobiles, trucks, trains, ships, airplanes, airports, automotive manufacturing plants, and maintenance facilities.

Replacing major portions of our existing transportation system would consume trillions upon trillions of dollars. Instead, we must preserve precious capital for the most important future investments; the construction of novel energy conversion plants. We must invest in building a sufficient number of energy plants that produce plenty of petroleum substitutes and are able of replacing all fossil fuels.

We must invest in factories that build equipment for converting sun energy, wind power, marine power, and geothermal power into electricity. Most importantly we must install facilities that can convert plentiful and inexhaustible sun energy into biomass.

We know that we can convert sunlight into diesel fuel. Now we must learn very fast how to convert biomass into petroleum substitutes. Preliminary evaluations show that the US can replace its entire, annual petroleum consumption by growing biomass on an area of less than 10,000 square miles. The lower 48 states of the US have an area of close to 3 million square miles. A small fraction, well below one percent, is sufficient to provide the entire US with emission free, affordable, and secure petroleum substitutes. These substitutes can be converted in existing oil refineries into the fuels we need; gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuels.

We must force the US energy industry to use its exorbitant profits for developing new energy sources and for making the US independent of foreign imports.

A future energy crisis will be much more severe than any past financial crises. It will take decades to fix the looming scarcity of transportation fuels. The US and the world must prevent a worldwide energy crisis that will threaten all countries with economic collapse.

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