Thursday, February 16, 2006

Harvard Gazette: End of the fossil fuel era?

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Simmons recommended starting to work on alternative energy sources now, rather than waiting for an energy shock. He said a major restructuring of the way freight is carried would help, reducing the reliance on trucks in favor of more efficient trains and barges.

He recommended a push to grow more foods closer to home to eliminate the long-distance shipping and encouraged the use of technology that would allow more people to work from home, saving gasoline spent today on long commutes and hours stuck in traffic.

He also recommended letting oil's price rise to reflect its true value. Higher oil prices, he said, would not only encourage conservation, they would increase profits for the industry, encourage new investment in infrastructure and exploration to find new oil sources.

"High energy prices are salvation," he said. "Low energy prices are a curse. The sooner people understand that, the better off we'll all be."

In addition to those moves to change how oil and natural gas are used, Simmons said increased use of coal and nuclear power will be in our energy future. Wind and solar power will also be part of the mix, he said, with wind power already competitive price-wise with oil, and solar power heading in that direction.

"This is a very easy issue for people to be in denial about," Simmons said

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