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Recursos energéticos y nuestro futuro...

  • domingo, 01 julio 2007 @ 15:38 CEST
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Artículos Corría el año 1957. El 14 de mayo de ese mismo año, Rear Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (Chief, Naval Reactors Branch. Division of Reactor Development. U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Ships for Nuclear Propulsion Navy Department) pronunció un discurso que sin duda pasará a la história. Frente a una audiencia de médicos, desgrana uno a uno sus argumentos sobre la relación energía-civilización, energía-aumento de población y la finitud de los recursos y de la tierra misma. Llama una y otra vez la atención hacia el respeto a la Tierra y a la gestión correcta de los recursos que de ella utilizamos. A lo largo de su discurso podemos leer frases tales como:
The earth is finite. Fossil fuels are not renewable. In this respect our energy base differs from that of all earlier civilizations. They could have maintained their energy supply by careful cultivation. We cannot. Fuel that has been burned is gone forever. Fuel is even more evanescent than metals.

Fossil fuels resemble capital in the bank. A prudent and responsible parent will use his capital sparingly in order to pass on to his children as much as possible of his inheritance. A selfish and irresponsible parent will squander it in riotous living and care not one whit how his offspring will fare.

The most significant distinction between optimistic and pessimistic fuel reserve statistics is that the optimists generally speak of the immediate future - the next twenty-five years or so - while the pessimists think in terms of a century from now. A century or even two is a short span in the history of a great people. It seems sensible to me to take a long view, even if this involves facing unpleasant facts.

Wood fuel and farm wastes are dubious as substitutes because of growing food requirements to be anticipated. Land is more likely to be used for food production than for tree crops; farm wastes may be more urgently needed to fertilize the soil than to fuel machines.

Transportation - the lifeblood of all technically advanced civilizations - seems to be assured, once we have borne the initial high cost of electrifying railroads and replacing buses with streetcars or interurban electric trains. But, unless science can perform the miracle of synthesizing automobile fuel from some energy source as yet unknown or unless trolley wires power electric automobiles on all streets and highways, it will be wise to face up to the possibility of the ultimate disappearance of automobiles, trucks, buses, and tractors.

...suggest that this is a good time to think soberly about our responsibilities to our descendents - those who will ring out the Fossil Fuel Age.

Lástima de la parte final donde barre para casa. Tiene muy claro que "Ultimately, the nation which control - the largest energy resources will become dominant"... y evidentemente quiere que sean los USA... El discurso completo puede leerse en Energy Bulletin y en The Oil Drum.

Parece una vez más que la historia enseña que no enseña nada. Su discurso, con matices, puede representar la actualidad en la que nos movemos.