Dec 25, 2003
The biodiesel imperative
This entry is owed entirely to Dr. Robin Abraham, a young man who is at the moment planning to implement a biodiesel economy in a small cluster of villages in Orissa. A visit to the link that follows, may make for scary reading but if India and Indians play it right we have just enough time to avert a major disaster hurtling towards ‘modern’ societies and hold up a solution for the world to follow.
In brief, the bad news is that petroleum production has already peaked and we are scraping the oil wells right now. Shortages will begin in 2012 and it is switch-off time in 2030. No more petroleum thereafter. Period.
That is the chilling message of Jay Hanson who created and ran until recently, a hard-hitting site called DieOff. He has been called a neo-Malthus. While Malthus predicted the end of humanity because of insufficient food for a limitlessly growing population, Hanson goes into the deeper, underlying reason: life as we know will die because of disruption in petroleum supply --even if we reversed population growth. Because, in the way we have built our societies around petroleum, the logic-chain goes like this: no oil, no energy, no work, no food. The Hanson site is worth exploring for a few hours to realise where we are and where we are headed. Here’s a scary tid-bit: “35 joules of energy is required to lift 15 kg of oil 5 meters out of of the ground just to overcome gravity-- and the higher the lift, the greater the energy requirement.” Clearly, oil companies cannot be depended upon for planning the earth’s future—they exisit to make profits.
But what is bad news like that doing in a good news site like this? Over the years GoodNewsIndia has been advancing biodiesel as the fit and eternal energy solution for India. Now Hanson’s arguments reinforce that advocacy. Abraham writes, “biodiesel is no longer an ‘alternative’ but the ‘only’ option’.The coming crisis will no doubt affect India badly, but it also presents us an opportunity to implement a holistic response.”
In these times when India is admired as a technology-leader, the biodiesel economy that it can pioneer countrywide would demonstrate what true and total technology can be.
To learn of the biodiesel opportunity click this link and follow the links from there.
Dr. Robin Abraham