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Culture

How tech can solve the oil crisis

Ideas for alternative energy sources have been kicked around for decades, but they have gone from casual discussion to public demands as complaints over gasoline prices reach a fever pitch. In just the last few days, news reports have focused on all manner of technologies that can be used to lessen our dependency on oil, including new forms of insulation, multicore processors and that old standby, solar power.

Green energy

In the blogosphere, always on the cutting edge, ideas run a far wider gamut from hybrid cars that can get 250 miles per gallon to novel uses for bodily fluids. As in the brick-and-mortar world, of course, nothing comes close to a consensus on the best course, or even whether there is a problem with today's levels of oil consumption.

Regardless of the specifics of the debate, let's hope that we're not headed for this.

Blog community response:

"If they are serious about 'technological solutions,' and not just shifting position a little to escape criticism, we should see an injection of funds into alternative energy sources (no guys, uranium doesn't really count as 'alternative,' though I see it took about 20 minutes for someone to bring it up already in response to this new climate change report) and greenhouse gas management policy development."
--Quantumbiodiscs

"States like Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan are sitting on a gold mine of wind energy potential. The Great Lakes are probably the area in the USA with the third largest inland wind energy potential. Think of just the nickname for Chicago. 'The Windy City.'"
--The Great Lakes Zephyr

"Even though the nano realm is today's frontier, it's important to remember that chemists and materials scientists have been working toward smaller scales for at least half a century... The point is that even though we are sure to see rapid development of new technologies on these tiny scales, the impact of these discoveries is unpredictable and the promises are, as yet, just hype."
--The Human Future

"Only 45% (or just 19 out of 42 gallons) of every barrel of oil goes to make gasoline. The rest goes towards producing food, heating homes, and making products like medicines, plastics, surgical devices, and more. The environmental fundraising community in the U.S. is feeding Americans a lot of misinformation."
--Voices of Reason