Category Archives: Green

Climate Change as Alien Invasion

Climate change and green energy are interests of Juan Cole, if not his specialty, so I figured I’d repost this remark from his “The Collapse of the Climate Change Contrarians and the End of Coal“:

Ronald Reagan used to fantasize that an alien invasion could unite human beings across capitalist and communist systems. Well, Reaganites now have their chance: Climate Change is a kind of alien invasion, threatening the human species, and here is an opportunity to put aside differences and unite to meet the biggest challenge we have faced in our 150,000 years of existence as homo sapiens sapiens. And, yes, this is an issue and a research that could and should unite Arabs and Israelis, both of them among the peoples most endangered by climate change (Egypt’s delta and Tel Aviv won’t be there after a while if we go on like this).

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Oil Dialectics

Optimistic as always about the rise of renewable energy, Juan Cole provides a new list of developments in this arena under the name of “Top Ten Reasons Fracking won’t Last Long.”  All intriguing, but I was most intrigued by #7:

Algeria wants to go solar, aiming for 650 megawatts of solar energy by 2015 and a massive 22 gigawatts by 2030. The Desertec Foundation has big projects in Egypt and Morocco, and Algeria, an oil producer, has decided to join in. Theoretically, a small portion of the Saharan desert could power the entire world. Desertec plans to turn North Africa into a clean electricity-producing zone that could meet nearly a fifth of Europe’s energy needs. Algeria is eager to turn to renewables because its rapidly growing population is using more an more of its petroleum production, which is declining.

Cole has pointed out the same of other big oil producers like Saudi Arabia and even Iran.  He argues that Iran is most likely pushing forward with refining its nuclear capacities not to make a bomb (though more on that, perhaps, another time) but to have an alternate source of energy so its own growing economy doesn’t suck up all its oil.  Perhaps a strange byproduct of the world’s addiction to oil really will be a stronger move toward renewables, at least in some parts of the world.

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