” Renewables cannot be constructed without fossil fuels. This fact will not change. Therefore, they extend the fossil fuel system.”
It’s true that renewable infrastructure is currently dependent on fossil fuel but there is ample reason to believe that we will be able to harness enough wind and solar energy within the foreseeable future to manufacture renewable energy infrastructure enough to get by with less and less fossil fuel from one decade to the next.
Whether we WILL turn this corner is impossible to say, because there are so many variables to consider.
As a practical matter, it takes an idiot to even consider the idea that naked apes will give up industrial civilization voluntarily.
We won’t give it up even with a gun held to our collective head.Talking about giving up fossil fuels now or anytime without renewable energy enough to shoulder the load is a complete waste of time, except as an academic exercise.
Both the wind and solar industries are now well past the point where the energy produced far exceeds the fossil energy input necessary to construct wind and solar farms.
Furthermore , almost all of the material used in these industries can and will be recycled.
We already know how to use fossil fuels three or for times as efficiently as we do at present.This obviously means that we can eventually get by just fine with one quarter as much energy per capita as we use today.We can produce this much renewable energy, if we put our minds and backs into the job.
It should be obvious to anybody paying attention that the prudent thing to do,in respect to renewables is to keep the pedal to the metal.(trucker ‘s slang for continuous all out effort)
We may have already mucked up the global environment to the point hard global level crash is inevitable. A lot of smart people think so.
I was once of that mind myself, but in recent years I have come to believe that piecemeal regional level collapse is about as likely, with some of the better positioned and more powerful countries likely to pull thru skinnied down but still basically functional.
Micro mini electric cars are all we really need to get to work or fetch a six pack.Given time, housing will again be located within walking distance of jobs, as was once the case a century ago.
There’s no real reason truly essential equipment such as farm tractors and ambulances can’t be built well enough to last half a century at least……
and the metals and plastics in them recycled into new equipment when the half century is up.
As a matter of actual fact, I’m personally running some equipment built as far back as the sixties, getting the same work done as neighbors with new equipment , for a very minor percentage of their total costs.
Anybody building a new house in the so called Sun Belt can buy enough solar panels and insulation, etc, today, to just about wipe out his electric bill PLUS enough additional juice to drive an electric car thirty of forty miles round trip to work anytime the sun cooperates….for the price of one nice new car.
Everybody in Africa could die of war, starvation and or plague without this having any serious effect on the USA in terms of Yankees having grid juice and well stocked grocery stores.
Now if India or China were to be so afflicted, well now …we Yankees might find ourselves involved in hot war with either or both countries…both of them well armed including nukes.
Farmers in the industrial world are quite accustomed to dealing with disaster at the local and regional level, without the general public even noticing.Twice at least I have seen my neighbors sell their cows for immediate slaughter because they had no feed due to drought , and could not afford to pay for feed shipped long distances. Four times at least over my lifetime my family lost over ninety percent of our fruit crop to bad weather.
If a drought equivalent to the Dust Bowl hits a poor African country the population may the halved, or even quartered.Such countries are unable to conduct much in the way of offensive war,even against their equally impoverished neighbors.The local people will slaughter each other wholesale….and when things settle down after a year, or four or five years, the survivors will have land enough to feed themselves.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if China were to be so afflicted, and could not buy food enough on the open market, well……the Chinese leadership would imo go to war, to the extent necessary, to feed the country.
I’m not saying things can’t get this bad even here in the USA, but this country is big enough and has surplus land enough, etc, and government is strong enough, that we Yankees aren’t likely to starve unless the climate goes totally nuts.
We appear to have enough of any and all TRULY essential resources to not only survive but also to maintain a functional industrial economy for most of a century at least IF we adopt a war time economic plan , with critical materials tightly rationed for the duration.
That ought to be long enough to figure out how to live on a truly sustainable basis.
Whether we will adopt such an economic program is anybody’s guess.
I suggest that we each and every one of us pray to the sky daddy or mommy or rock or snake or mountain of our choice that we do so.
If we are fortunate enough that we get a sufficient number of Pearl Harbor Wake Up Events, in the form of super storms , super droughts, resource wars, etc, etc, we might just adopt such an economic plan before it’s too late.