Erm, Johann?

There is an obvious medium-term solution: break our addiction. The technology exists – wind, wave and especially solar power – to fuel our societies without oil. It would free us from our support for dictators and horrific wars of plunder like Iraq. It\’s our society\’s route to rehab – but it is being blocked by the hugely influential oil companies, who would lose a fortune.

Umm, this isn\’t quite true you know.

The technology to power our societies without oil doesn\’t exist. That\’s actually what the problem is. If it did exist then we\’d all quite happily be using it: that we\’re not shows that it doesn\’t.

Sure, we can get some power from these technologies: but not as much as we currently use and at higher prices than we currently pay. Do note that all of the various \”proofs\” floating around, the Greenpeace, WWF, Green Party etc plans all start with \”we can cut energy consumption by 50%\” ….which while it might be something we either desire to do or will have to do is not the same as saying we can power our current societies in this manner. And the doubling/quadrupling of energy costs necessary will also rather change our societies.

The truth is we can power \”a\” society without oil, but not our current one. Not yet.

As tio the insitence that we\’re not doing this because of the power of the oil companies that\’s just infantile nonsense. For decades BP was the largest investor in solar power, Shell runs wind farms and so on. That we\’re not already running not on oil isn\’t because of the oil companies, it\’s because of us: we don\’t want to use half the energy at four times the price.

9 thoughts on “Erm, Johann?”

  1. The thing I find beguiling and very annoying about Johann is that despite his complete lack of respect for ‘factual information’ ‘evidence’ ‘open debate’ ‘dialectics’ ‘measured argument’ people, and not just stupid people, seem to lap up his words greedily.

    Or maybe I should say ‘because of’ all those things. Johann is a preacher, and in times of uncertainty, people like to have preachers to tell them everything is simple, if only they believe.

    As a life-long non-believer I don’t buy into the cult of Johann. But, just as arguing rationally with religious fundamentalists doesn’t work, neither does arguing rationally with Hari or his followers.

    I don’t know what the answer is!

    But keep up the good work.

  2. These nasty oil companies must be very very powerful indeed, not to mention nasty, to be able to force the entire population of the world to buy their – nasty (did I forget to allude to that?) – products when there are cheaper, better alternatives available.

  3. Johann is the sort of person who complains if you buy oil from a dictatorship – thereby becoming responsible for its crimes – complain if you topple a dictatorship who you no longer have to either impose sanctions on or buy oil from, and I bet he’d complain about capitalism failing if we stopped using oil and gas and plunged the masses in to fuel poverty. He’s basically the sort of person who sounds good
    at a lefty Cambridge dinner party, but is really just someone who can’t accept the difficulties of reality.

  4. I quite like some of Johann’s columns but there is something wrong when the capitalist pigdog has to explain peak oil to the environmentalist…

  5. The question is do we need for any reason – to stop using oil or indeed coal.

    Answer: No.

    All further discourse on the topic is merely whimsical.

  6. Pingback: Why You Can’t Dig Up A House’s Foundations While Still Inside… « Back Towards The Locus

  7. Nuclear. We could embark on a major changeover to nuclear for our electricity generation. But the same greenies who bleat about coal, bleat about gas, and bleat about oil, also tend to bleat about every other potential solution.

  8. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘It would free us from our support for dictators and horrific wars of plunder like Iraq’.

    I thought the whole fuss about Iraq was that we overthrew the brutal dictator of an oil-rich country as opposed to doing business with him.

    Damned if we do, damned if we don’t …

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