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There is one fundamental fact that is often forgotten in the discussion of energy security and carbon dioxide emissions. It is that the combustion of fossil fuels invariably has two consequences. It is the source of the energy that does useful work in industry in the process of being dissipated as waste heat. It is also the source of carbon dioxide that irreversibly increases the level in the atmosphere and the oceans. It is the source of carbon dioxide that has distorted the natural cycle. The ratio of the amount of carbon dioxide exhausted to the amount of heat generated is highest for coal and least for natural gas. But the principle invariably applies for the fossil fuels. There is an immutable duality between the use of these fuels to supply the concentrated energy used by industry, commerce or in the home and the carbon dioxide emissions that are powering climate change.

Industrialized civilization is addicted to using the concentrated energy from fossil fuels. The Pandora box has been opened. This use has enabled the build up of the high materialistic standard of living for many. This use has enabled the parasitic urbanization. This use has enabled the reliance on mechanical transportation. This use has fostered unsustainable agribusiness to provide food for the vast population. This use has fostered decimation of biodiversity. But this use has also initiated climate change.

This addiction cannot readily and in a timely fashion transform to a lesser dependence. Development of renewable and nuclear sources of energy can, at best, slowly provide a partial substitute in powering down the modern edifice. This means that severe climate change is irrevocable. No amount of rhetoric, obfuscation or bargaining by the powerful is going to change this irreversible devastating trend. And climate change is predicted to exacerbate other problems for the gross over population, like food production and water supply, particularly in the least industrialized regions. The die has been cast. Civilization is in senescence.

The irony is that the supply of the exhaustible fossil fuels is becoming scarce so they will not be readily available to partially counter the problem they have generated for all, the impact of climate change.

Denis Frith
Melbourne
Australia

denisaf2000@yahoo.com.au

‘What went wrong? The misdirection of civilization.’
http://users.bigpond.net.au/jaymz/download/Gaia_and_Us-Denis_Frith-jun07.doc

‘The Usufruct Delusion’
http://candobetter.org/node/204

‘The Dependence on Nature Law’
http://candobetter.org/StarkReality

‘The Immutable Duality’
http://candobetter.org/node/238

‘Unsustainability of civilization’
http://candobetter.org/node/279

‘Industrial civilization Pandora's box’
http://candobetter.org/node/280