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SG-W:/ Student Activism
This is a document
that I hope to circulate to students. It is a result of my profound anxiety
about the future of my grandchildren. The children themselves must know about
the misdeeds of their parents and try to influence them. The oinly answer is to
cut back cut back, cut back. The insert is formatted.
Look into the future. Unless you act, you may
have a short life.
There are 2
disasters coming that may well drastically shorten your life span. One is Global
Warming that may affect climate to the point that food production will be
greatly reduced, the other is running out of natural gas and oil. Without oil,
airplanes, cars, trains, ships, tractors, bulldozers, and all of the other
machines we are using will not run. We can live without airplanes and cars but
we can't live without tractors, farm machinery, and trains. Shifting from oil to
natural gas is not possible in the quantities we are using now. Furthermore we
are running out of gas. Coal and nuclear production can't be increased enough to
make the difference. Fusion is a pipedream. Solar wind, and biomass would help
but can't produce the quantities we are using now. Furthermore it will take more
than 20 trillion dollars in investment to get even 30% of present consumption
from alternate energy.
is impossible to determine the exact time scale for disaster to happen but
things may change within 10 years. Even with the most optimistic scenarios the
economy will be destroyed within 20 years and starvation will start within 50
The best scenario for
sustainability for say 200 years would be to cut back consumption of energy by
60% and then try to produce the remaining 40% from equal amounts from coal,
nuclear, wind, solar, and biomass. No combination of energy sources can possibly
satisfy present consumption. Europe is presently using about 50% of our per
capita consumption, while China is living on 10%. Here, although we are
fortunate in having more arable land per capita, we are much worse off because
we are so spoiled, and so scattered. The fallacy of depending on imports has
caused us to lose our basic manufacturing capability. However if we prepare for
it we can live with 30% of present consumption and still have a happy life.
Houses will have to be replaced with apartment buildings, and cars by bicycles
and trains. Forget about airplanes and space travel. We must reduce immigration.
Everyone must grow food.
investment required to save our future is so large that we must start
immediately and keep spending over many years. Twenty trillion will not be
enough. George Bush promised to spend 1 billion on energy if drilling were to
occur in Alaskan wild life preserves. The truth is that the amount of oil there
is so small that it will make very little difference. One billion dollars are
also far too small to make a difference. The tax cut will cause disaster for all
have to start now to make the changes because there will be a big time delay
between starting and anything happening. Most of our workforce will have to be
engaged in farming, manufacturing, and designing energy projects if we are to
survive. Our national budget will have to neglect entitlements and national
defense and concentrate on farming and energy. Our farmers will have to grow
energy crops as well as food crops. We must plant many billions of fruit trees.
Please talk to your
parents, other students, and teachers about this. Make them understand that you
want to live to a ripe old age and that they must make sacrifices for your
future. Spread this information and form a Sustainability club to engage in
searching the Internet for information, for spreading the word, and for looking
for solutions. Design a Sustainability web page that will draw the attention of
other students and cause them to unite against the awful wastefulness of their