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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.
                                 Kermit Schlansker    
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.
         It 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 years.
         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.
         The 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 children.
          Remember we 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 parents.
Internet References:          >http://www.provide.net/~kssustain/  
www.RunningOnEmpty.org<     >http://www.Dieoff.org)>           (http://www.altenergy.org)
<>http://www.hubbertpeak.com/magoon/   >http://www.oilcrisis.com<>http://hubbert.mines.edu
     Contact me               Kermit Schlansker,  PE     971 5283     kssustain@provide.net