“Our Inalienable Primary Responsibility”
You may rest assured that our purposes do not aim to “rain on the parades” of those gallantly exploring and developing alternative energy hopes. We would be more than happy to take on the role of delightful energising optimists. Unfortunately optimism alone cannot overcome the constraints of hard realities as we examine the possibilities of ‘Solar Sunflower Solutions,” amoung many others.
First question: How many Sunflowers do we need? Answer: Lots – probably more than we could imagine. Why?
Here’s the simple math. If populations or economies grow at a mere 2% a year, so do energy needs naturally correlate to sustain their support systems. The 2% figure may not seem like much in your bank account, but it means that about every 36 years you double your energy needs – in 72 years you actualize a four–fold increase. By then, “all fossil energy resources are effectively wiped-out.” Oil alone gives us 80% of our transportation energy needs, while we are depleting 34 billion barrels each year for all forms of consumption. In 72 years, we will need 136 billion barrels of oil or replacement energy from “ Solar Sunflowers”’ or other sources to keep the global economic ship afloat. (You would have to be nuts to start thinking about the further needs for the next 36 years and on wards, when there is only; say, an estimated 1.3 trillion in probable reserves remaining – e.g. 272, 544, and 1,088 billion barrels of future oil energy equivalents needed, annually. Scary!) The gist is that there is no way on earth, or anywhere else for that matter, that a bunch of sunflowers can ever provide a complete solution to the pending and certain “Energy Bankruptcy” facing global economic, social and political systems and their on-going growth needs to 2100 A. D.
Also, on the back of our envelope, there are two other very important concerns;
All these sunflowers will require materials to fabricate. These materials or other non-renewable resources are also being exponentially depleted. That obviously constrains how many sunflowers you can make to remedy an insatiable energy thirst. Secondly, there may be dark days ahead for many reasons; for instance, volcanoes, nuclear or climatic events where the figurative object turns into the literal experience and the lights go out and the party is over!
What is clear and optimistic from this brief analysis, however, is that a more comprehensive approach is needed that encompasses all the major physical constraints including population variables, to construct outcome probability models to forecast most likely situations in the next 36, 72, and 108 years, for starters. Why? To, firstly, provide clearer and less subjective diagnostic tools and information. Secondly, and more importantly, ‘we all inherently share an inalienable primary responsibility ‘ to map sensible possible paths for all future life on this planet.
And this, by all measure of words, is our "raison d’être" !
Why again? There won’t be any second chances….