The Solution | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

The Solution 

Jim Owen's In My View was published for a second time within a week in Bend's daily paper. The second printing (Jan. 14) is titled

Jim Owen's In My View was published for a second time within a week in Bend's daily paper. The second printing (Jan. 14) is titled "Recent oil crisis demonstrates the need for nuclear energy." An odd title in that Owen doesn't really make a case for nuclear. But I thank him for bringing up "Peak Oil."

But first let's talk about nuclear energy. Owen neglects to inform us that as a resource (uranium) it's finite like fossil fuel! The U.S. only has 11 percent of the world's exploitable sources. U.S. annual consumption is about 62,000 tons. If consumption stays flat, our uranium would last about 57 years. However, if we double, triple or quadruple production, we'd run out in short order, and with a bad investment. Fission produces only electricity, less than 40 percent of our energy needs. And, the source of the remaining 60 percent? Another problem is disposal of radioactive waste.

"Peak Oil" is when production reaches its max and starts a downhill decline, never to recover. For example, oil production peaked in the U.S. in 1970, and has declined ever since. Today we import 73 percent of our energy needs. The "peak" Owen mentioned is a world production peak, a potential world disaster. I quote an "Abstract" from "Petroleum geologists have known for 50 years that global oil production would 'peak' and begin its inevitable decline within a decade of the year 2000. Moreover, no renewable energy systems have the potential to generate more than a tiny fraction of the power now being generated by fossil fuels. In short, the end of oil signals the end of civilization, as we know it." It's scary. And Owen is right when he suggests "Green Energy" has no chance of replacing 85 trillion barrels/day of fossil fuels, worldwide.

From Howard T. Odum's book, Environmental Accounting, it states that to be "renewable," an energy system must produce enough net energy to "reproduce itself." When systems are evaluated, both inputs and outputs must be examined to determine the net energy. Odum's calculations demonstrate that solar cells consume twice as much solar eMjoules (sej) as they produce. Over the long haul, they are not sustainable. Calculations show the alternative energies that can survive fossil fuel depletion are muscle, burning biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal and some wind electrical generation. No other alternatives are sustainable. In short, there is no way out!

"Society cannot survive on alternative energy because windmills and solar panels cannot run bulldozers, elevators, steel mills, glass factories, electric heat, air conditioning, aircraft, automobiles, etc., AND still have enough energy left over to support political systems, armies, etc." Amen! (Another source: Lindsey Grant, NPG Forum)

Bob Bates, Bend

About The Author

Pin It


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Paris is Burning w/ OUT Central Oregon!

Paris is Burning w/ OUT Central Oregon! - Tin Pan Alley

Wed., June 16, 8 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

  •   @sourceweekly on Instagram

Latest in Letters to the Editor

  • Letters to the Editor 6/17/21

    • Jun 16, 2021
    Central OR Drought?, Bend City Councilors "Sit" for Pledge, Don’t Forget Worrell Wayside and Short-Term Vacation Rentals More »
  • Letters to the Editor 6/10/21

    • Jun 9, 2021
    Guest Opinion: Use American Rescue Plan Dollars for the Housing Crisis More »
  • Letters to the Editor 6/3/21

    • Jun 2, 2021
    Bend Roundabouts, No fossil fuels by rail in Bend without adequate insurance,Gun violence and More Bread Crumbs for a Solution on Mirror Pond More »
  • More »

More by Eric Flowers

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation