Electricity and Rail Can Solve Our Energy Woes

<p>Writer Benjamin J. Turon argues that we aren't in an energy crisis as much as a transportation crisis, and that we already have all the technology we need.</p>
July 16, 2008, 6am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Those in the "peak oil" camp, who predict that we are about to run out of easily accessible petroleum, warn that the drop in global oil production will bring dire consequences. Writer James Howard Kunstler, and like-minded groups such as the Capital Region Energy Forum, predict the collapse of Western Civilization and the establishment of an "Amish Paradise." Yet they forget history and underestimate the technology available to sustain our technological civilization.:

"We are not so much in an energy crisis as a transport crisis, a troika of increasing congestion, environmental degradation and energy shortages.

As global demand for transport and petroleum products grows as a result of population and economic growth, demand is beginning to exceed supply, leading to an inflationary spiral of prices that could cripple the economy.

The goal should be to switch our transportation from being powered by petroleum to electricity, because electric vehicles can utilize a variety of power sources, and use it more efficiently than internal-combustion engines. Electric vehicles won't compete with the food supply, as do biofuels, and are more practical than using hydrogen fuel cells. Overall pollution would be reduced, including greenhouse gases."

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Published on Sunday, July 13, 2008 in The Daily Gazette, Schenectady
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