viernes, 29 de junio de 2012


The energy crisis. The energy that moves our economy largely is from oil. The industrial system uses, as fuel either directly, indirectly through energy from power plants, or as inputs, raw materials, lubricants, etc.., Agriculture uses inputs from oil, fertilizers, pesticides, machinery we use to agriculture moves from petroleum, irrigation systems and sprinklers, plastic greenhouse, temperature controlled lamps for daytime lighting effect at night, agro-industrial processes, etc.., our transportation system depends almost entirely on petroleum, diesel, gasoline, naphtha, oil, tires, parts, that we use in planes, boats, freight, public transport, private cars, motorcycles, a large number of products that we consume and home and in our workplaces are from oil, plastics, clothing, paints, solvents, furniture, covers, packaging, appliances, disposable products, etc.,, electricity and heating our homes mostly in the world dependent on oil through thermal power plants, the gas we use for cooking is liquefied petroleum gas, the material used for road construction, asphalt, used oil, many materials used for construction of an industrial process needed to manufacture that uses energy from oil, cement blocks, iron, prefabricated panels, pipes, polycarbonates, acrylics, glass, etc. If we look around us we realize that the world we live in has a lot of things that depend on oil in any part of your process.
As we can see, our economy is highly dependent on oil that is not a renewable resource, and is running out. According to studies by geologists relating to the oil industry, [1] production in the world is about to reach the zenith, if not already reached, namely that every time there is less oil in the world than we have spent so far (since 1859), and each year will be more difficult to extract oil to keep the growing demand of the system.
Our economy has grown at pace with our consumption of energy, if our primary energy source is low, it is not possible economic growth.
The logic of economic growth is to grow the market, increase production and consumption to generate wealth. So far this has been possible because we have had enough cheap oil, which allowed the use of energy will increase each year in line with economic growth. So, every year we need to extract more oil, to maintain growth. But now we have to face every year we will have less source of cheap energy and growth thus conceived as it is now no longer possible. This logic of the market and economic growth has put the rope around his neck.
That is why we can understand the desperation of clinging to the current system by all means try to appropriate the proven oil reserves, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the threat of war against Iran. The sudden and desperate search for alternative energy sources such as biofuels, justifying the "Tour of Ethanol" that made George W. Bush. We can also understand why the surge in oil prices in recent years, and we could hardly say that these will fall. It is also worrying to imagine where these global power groups may be able to go to maintain the status quo.
Alternative energy could not replace in the short term to the energy from oil.
Natural gas and coal are nonrenewable energy sources, which are also being rapidly depleted therefore are not viable. Solar energy is a good alternative, but to replace the energy required to maintain the "American way of life" would require an area equivalent to the state of Texas and Arizona, full of photovoltaic panels, which is not possible. Wind power works where there is abundant winds throughout the year, not many, so it could not replace the energy now. Thermal energy would only locally. Hydrogen is not an energy source, only a source of energy storage, and depend on the fossil fuel oil or for the production of hydrogen or water electrolysis, which depends on electricity to make it. Nuclear power is expensive and dangerous, remember Chernobyl. The hydroelectric plants have many environmental impacts, nor could replace oil-dependent energy. Biofuels currently account for a minimum fuel consumption, for example, in the United States, ethanol corresponds to only 3% of total fuel consumed by automobiles in 2006, however it would have taken 55 million tons of corn production. [2] To replace oil use dramatically with biofuels, we would need to allocate large tracts of agricultural land, loss reserve areas, felling forests, to this land, planting monocultures of sugarcane, soybean, palm or corn. This would be a disaster worse than fossil fuels.

All these alternatives together could not replace the energy currently used by the oil to keep our consumer society. And if there were to be the case to replace this would take many years, even while the economic system would fall into a depression into a tailspin.  
We also have to take into account the energy balance of many of these alternatives, ie how much fossil energy is required to obtain another source of energy?  
Few people consume the most energy on the planet.
Countries "more developed economically," are those who consume more energy. From total energy consumption in the world in 2003 accounted for 51.5% the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, in whose members are major U.S., Canada, Mexico, several countries of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. Russia and some former members of the Soviet Union accounted for 8.5%, in China it was 12.3%, and the remaining 12.1% Asia, Latin America, 5% Middle East 4% , and Africa 5.7%.   [3]  
We can see that the world's most developed countries are consuming more than half the energy and, for example, Latin America consumes only 5% of the total. Of these the largest consumer of energy on the planet and the largest producer of greenhouse gases is the United States. In turn exists everywhere in the world with more emphasis on certain countries, a great inequality between rich and poor. Countries and few people who eat a lot of energy and resources and that are running, and a large population without access to even meet their basic needs.
You need an economic decline of the "rich world", in order to be sustainable life on Earth, but above all we need to redefine the concepts of economy and development to achieve a balanced distribution of resources and energy on the planet. Production would then be no accumulation, but the production of goods necessary for the physical, cultural and spiritual human beings to live well. The energy would be needed to maintain life in all its manifestations. The savings would be the resources to ensure its provision for future generations and the development would be on the spiritual and cultural development of humans interacting with the natural laws.
We must accept the facts, we are addicted.
The beginning of the healing of an alcoholic or a drug addict is to accept the facts. It is to accept their status as an alcoholic or drug addict. We could make an analogy about our industrial civilization. Our dependence on oil is growing, like an alcoholic liquor. We are a sick society autohólica, petroleoadicta. A society of consumption and waste. Jung spoke of a society if we were dissociated as a neurotic person and that is leading us to self-destruction.  
If we begin to heal we must accept these facts and begin to change our way of life, to take away our addiction. If we save the planet and life on the planet we must begin to heal us of our dependence. We must stop clinging to the false dreams that consumer society presents us with an ideal of life and turn our eyes to our deepest dreams, and think about the world we want, in the city we want, we want human beings being and fight to make it happen.
We must accept the fact that the consumer society and rampant waste which have been used is no longer possible, not only because our main energy source is low, but because our planet is at serious risk of collapse due to environmental problems by the increasing dehumanization of society, the fact that more and work harder to meet "our needs" and never finished to meet the needs created by the consumer society. 
Unfortunately the most dependent on oil are less willing to accept the facts. They are also handling the global economic power, so that the healing of addiction in this case is difficult.
¿Que podemos hacer para curarnos de la adicción al petróleo?
First, our change in spending habits. Reduce, recycle and reuse. Assess what nature gives us to avoid waste and waste.  
Be more efficient. Energy efficiency refers to a concept of optimizing the existing energy to produce the desired effect. Is more efficient to heat water with a solar panel, which through a tank water heater that runs on electric power from a power plant several miles away that burns fuel at temperatures above 500 ° C, to have water in the shower at 38 ° C. [4] We find in any condition efficiency.
To mobilize we must minimize travel in private cars, preferring for them, cycling, walking and public transport that are more energy efficient. [5]  For this reason planning is necessary to reduce the need to use the automobile. Have many activities to walking distance, to avoid unnecessary mobility. Create local communities with many services, so that in the least dependent on motorized transport systems.
We re-emphasize the local. The more we use local materials, avoid import from great distances saving energy resource. Assess the local and create a market with local produce and artisan made.
The architecture and buildings must meet criteria for saving energy and solar energy collection, capturing natural light in every room during the day, capturing winds, breezes from the environment, shade trees and natural coolers, so of depend as little as possible of artificial heating and air conditioning. The ancient cities give us good examples of adaptation of the architecture and urban climate. The recruitment of passive solar energy should be the first priority in the design of homes, offices, workshops, classrooms and spaces built and tend to bioclimatic design.  
The use of local materials for construction guarantees an excellent adaptation to climate and landscape and also involves energy savings. For example for the manufacture of a concrete block is used 300 times more energy than for the manufacture of a ground adobe. It should therefore encourage the use of local materials and no industrial processes to meet the housing needs.
The energy needed for our activities should be as far as possible from local sources and renewable energy such as solar panels, photovoltaic cells, wind, hydro, biogas, biofuels locally, geothermal energy, and finally when there is no more, non-renewable sources, energy from fossil fuels, with a criterion of maximum savings. 
Agriculture must change their current production for organic farming, crop variety and consumer close distances. It should promote permaculture, creating urban gardens and fruit trees. Vegetarianism is a good choice for large energy savings.
The power of solidarity, the energy of the future.
Finally do not forget that we are a community, not just humans, but a community of living beings that inhabit the planet Earth. Therefore we must work together with the support of the forces of nature to preserve the ecological balance and well-being of all. The economy should be governed by natural laws. At this energy source could call the power of solidarity as I once read in a proclamation of a meeting of women, and would be the main source of energy in a hopefully very near future. This power of solidarity is the most effective remedy to cure us of our addiction to oil. The moment a good group of people begin to apply this form of energy, we will reduce our attachments. The other sources of energy will be widely available and the expected change to a society of harmony will become closer.
Diego Hurtado

[1] Richard Heinberg. The Party's is over. Review of Francisco Gonzalez.
[2] Elizabeth Bravo. Igniting debate about biofuels. Ecological Action. Quito. 2006
[3] Elizabeth Bravo. Igniting debate about biofuels. Ecological Action. Quito. 2006
[4] David Wright. Natural solar architecture. GG. Mexico 1983.
[5] The bicycle is the transportation of greater energy savings. 66kj/Km. per person. The pedestrian uses 330kj/Km., The trolley 342, 395 tram, subway 433, bus 762, a small car 1483, a midsize car a big car 2925 and 5778. 

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