Future Energy and 10 Dollar Gasoline

I’ve been thinking a lot about energy lately. I just drove to Austin, and I spent $700 on gasoline at about $2.75 per gallon. The word in the blogosphere is that oil production peaked in 2005, and if that’s true, it will play mad hobb with our economic recovery.

So let’s say for a minute that it is true. I took 5 days to get from Seattle to Austin with a huge truck pulling a small car. At $10 per gallon I could go home for about $2500 (just in gas) if I go the same way. Or, if I drive my car, which is far more reasonable, it will be about the same price (if the car makes it). Is that a realistic scenario? Well, if Saudia Arabia really has peaked, then it might be reasonable that we could see $10 per gallon in 2012.

I’ve mentioned it before. In the US we love cars. We won’t tolerate $10 per gallon (interstate trucking will have to be subsidized, or there will be serious problems with moving food around). We will start up alternative fossil fuel liquification and we will convert vehicles to natural gas… delaying the problem, not fixing it.

Nuclear will play a big role. Nuclear powered fuel reforming can bring prices back down… if we can decide what to do with the waste…

None of this answers the climate change question.

The politics of the above are just too messy. A Greenpeace person talked to me the other day. I had nothing positive to say, really. Greenpeace is polishing the deck chairs on the titanic. Whales? The whales will be fine. Wind energy? That’s great. If we have a miracle, maybe it can offset 20% of our fossil fuel problems. What we need is nukes, and we need the no-compromise ninnies to get out of the way.

Meanwhile I’ll be working on Alzheimer’s Disease. When there’s a real crisis, people will get out of the way. When gas is $10 per gallon, we’ll see action. Maybe we’ll see if I want to look into nuclear career options at that point.