[Ok-sus] Will fossil fuels be able to maintain economic growth?

Robert Waldrop bwaldrop1952 at att.net
Fri Mar 22 19:49:11 UTC 2013

The concept of energy returned on energy invested is critical to an accurate 
reading on what is happening with energy, but it is never discussed in the 
mainstream media, which continues to uncritically report oil industry propaganda 
as if it were actually true.  

A good example of this is our own newspaper, the Oklahoman.  The many biases of 
that newspaper are well known, but it seems to me, as a long-time reader, that 
things have gotten even worse once the Gaylord family sold the paper to an 
out-of-state billionaire. One of their claims is that they want to become the 
go-to paper for energy news, but they only publish pro-industry "news".  I 
haven't sent them contrarian views, and their energy reporters don't even give 
me the courtesy of a response.  \

Which just goes to show. . . when it comes to critical issues, the mainstream 
news is managed, and the managers do not have the common good in mind when they 
do their managing.

Below is a url and a snip from an article in Scientific American that you will 
not read about in the Daily Oklahoman.
 Bob Waldrop, Oklahoma City
http://www.ipermie.net -- How to permaculture your urban lifestyle


Will Fossil Fuels Be Able to Maintain Economic Growth? A Q&A with Charles Hall
The inventor of the energy return on investment (EROI) metric argues that 
economic growth could soon stop—and that we need to get smart about 
incorporating the true cost of fuel in energy policies

By Mason Inman

“Drill, baby, drill” has become a slogan of those who want to produce more oil 
and gas and who scoff at alternatives to petroleum. But rarely mentioned is the 
expense required to get that oil and gas—and still more rarely mentioned is the 
energy required to access those resources.

Charles Hall, an ecologist at the State University of New York College of 
Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, has spent most of his long 
career trying to get fellow researchers and the public to take a serious look at 
the energy required to get the energy we use. He is given credit for creating a 
measure known as the energy return on investment, or EROI—the ratio of energy 
output over energy input. (With oil, for example, the energy output would be the 
crude oil produced, and the energy input would be all that required to find the 
oil reservoir, drill the well and pump the oil out of the ground.) EROI is a 
crucial metric, Hall argues, because it helps us see which energy sources are 
high quality and which are not.

Hall and his students did pioneering work in this area, including a 1984 paper 
on the cover of Science. For many years, however, interest in the topic 
languished. But recent soaring oil prices and increasing difficulty of accessing 
new supplies have helped create economic hardships, leading to resurgent 
interest in EROI. Scientific American asked Hall to explain the basis of the 
EROI and how it pertains to our economy.

[An edited transcript of the interview follows.]

more at the link above.
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