Re: Energy and "the Clash of Civilizations" -- a policy thought p roblem

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Tue Oct 02 2001 - 17:13:06 MDT

Hal Finney wrote:

The other is to attack the demand side and work on replacing the uses
of oil in the economy. As I said this will take many years as cars
get replaced, and home and industrial heating units are retired and
replaced with electrical or natural gas systems. This approach is
not really feasible on a short term time frame, and because any crisis
which would motivate such a transition will be inherently short term,
it seems unlikely to be pursued.

### You are quite right pointing out that the change from oil will take many
years - it's unlikely that there will be a sudden breakdown in the
production of oil (short of WW III for real). Even if the Middle East were
to become unstable, there are enough altenative sources to tide the US over,
although at a steep price. Most likely, as outlined in an article in the
Scientific American last year (in September, I think), there will be a
gradual decline in oil production and a slow changeover to other sources of
energy, which will be effected without the need for government intervention
(except basic R&D)

Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD

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