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Oil shock.

Kevin Drum's article ("Crude Awakening," June) recounts the best known facts to date but he has not counted the facts of the last few years. Oil from $11/barrel to $55, natural gas from $4/1,000 ft cu to 7.50. The spectacular speculation runups and falls tend to obscure the fact that every time the ratchet twists the base is higher. We are already beyond the peak of oil production.

The only plan that makes any sense is the three, three, and three plan. As world oil goes into depletion mode very visibly after 2008 at about 6 percent per year, the world must improve use efficiency each year by 3 percent, increase the amount of long term renewable, wind and solar, energy produced, and take three percent from current uses to provide the power to accomplish the first and second three. Twenty years of effort will have moved the world to a renewable alcohol and hydrogen economy and allow the six and one half billion people presently on this Earth to sustain themselves. A benefit is that 80 percent of air pollution and green house gases will have gone away, leaving the Earth a better place.

Failure to follow the three, three, and three plan will result in collapsed economies, resource wars, and global population reduction on a vast scale.

Resource wasting diversions, like tar sands, shale oils, coal gasification, hydrogen from nuclear, all take vast resources and many years of time, and are barely BTU positive. (Solar arrays and wind turbines can return their BTUs for construction in less than two years.). All these diversions end at the same place, depletion within 20 years anyway, with massive environmental damage.

So three, three, and three it is or within 20 years humanity will be headed back to the Oldavi George and myths will be told of the good old days when cities and transport actually worked.

John Gotthold

President, Silicon Valley Chapter

The American Hydrogen Association
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Author:Gotthold, John
Publication:Washington Monthly
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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