Follow by Email

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Prophecy

Fortunate Generation,

Admiral Hyman Rickover, May 14, 1957 speech transcript, with my condensation. 
This was spoken 60 years ago, by the "Father of the Nuclear Navy" (Thanks Jada)

"With high energy consumption goes a high standard of living. Thus the enormous fossil energy which we in this country control feeds machines which make each of us master of an army of mechanical slaves. Man's muscle power is rated at 35 watts continuously, or one-twentieth horsepower. Machines therefore furnish every American industrial worker with energy equivalent to that of 244 men, while at least 2,000 men push his automobile along the road, and his family is supplied with 33 faithful household helpers. Each locomotive engineer controls energy equivalent to that of 100,000 men; each jet pilot of 700,000 men. Truly, the humblest American enjoys the services of more slaves than were once owned by the richest nobles, and lives better than most ancient kings. In retrospect, and despite wars, revolutions, and disasters, the hundred years just gone by may well seem like a Golden Age. Whether this Golden Age will continue depends entirely upon our ability to keep energy supplies in balance with the needs of our growing population...What lifted man - one of the weaker mammals - above the animal world was that he could devise, with his brain, ways to increase the energy at his disposal, and use the leisure so gained to cultivate his mind and spirit...Anyone who has watched a sweating Chinese farm worker strain at his heavily laden wheelbarrow, creaking along a cobblestone road, or who has flinched as he drives past an endless procession of human beasts of burden moving to market in Java - the slender women bent under mountainous loads heaped on their heads - anyone who has seen statistics translated into flesh and bone, realizes the degradation of man's stature when his muscle power becomes the only energy source he can afford...Almost all of today's low-energy countries have a population density so great that it perpetuates dependence on intensive manual agriculture which alone can yield barely enough food for their people. They do not have enough acreage, per capita, to justify using domestic animals or farm machinery, although better seeds, better soil management, and better hand tools could bring some improvement...This is so because of the rapidity with which public health measures have reduced mortality rates, resulting in population growth as high or even higher than that of the high-energy nations... Our civilization rests upon a technological base which requires enormous quantities of fossil fuels. What assurance do we then have that our energy needs will continue to be supplied by fossil fuels: The answer is - in the long run - none... The earth is finite. Fossil fuels are not renewable. In this respect our energy base differs from that of all earlier civilizations. They could have maintained their energy supply by careful cultivation. We cannot. Fuel that has been burned is gone forever... The size of usable reserves depends on the ability of engineers to improve the efficiency of fuel extraction and use. It also depends on discovery of new methods to obtain energy from inferior resources at costs which can be borne without unduly depressing the standard of living...Current estimates of fossil fuel reserves vary to an astonishing degree. In part this is because the results differ greatly if cost of extraction is disregarded or if in calculating how long reserves will last, population growth is not taken into consideration; or, equally important, not enough weight is given to increased fuel consumption required to process inferior or substitute metals... Yet the popularizers of scientific news would have us believe that there is no cause for anxiety, that reserves will last thousands of years, and that before they run out science will have produced miracles... But, prudent men will reject these tranquilizers and prefer to face the facts so that they can plan intelligently for the needs of their posterity... Wood fuel and farm wastes are dubious as substitutes because of growing food requirements to be anticipated. Land is more likely to be used for food production than for tree crops; farm wastes may be more urgently needed to fertilize the soil than to fuel machines... Wind and water power can furnish only a very small percentage of our energy needs. Moreover, as with solar energy, expensive structures would be required, making use of land and metals which will also be in short supply... More promising is the outlook for nuclear fuels...The disposal of radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants is, however, a problem which must be solved before there can be any widespread use of nuclear power. (oops, that never happened)... Transportation - the lifeblood of all technically advanced civilizations - seems to be assured, once we have borne the initial high cost of electrifying railroads and replacing buses with streetcars or interurban electric trains. But, unless science can perform the miracle of synthesizing automobile fuel from some energy source as yet unknown or unless trolley wires power electric automobiles on all streets and highways, it will be wise to face up to the possibility of the ultimate disappearance of automobiles, trucks, buses, and tractors... Today the automobile is the most uneconomical user of energy. Its efficiency is 5% compared with 23% for the Diesel-electric railway. It is the most ravenous devourer of fossil fuels, accounting for over half of the total oil consumption in this country... Reduction in automotive use would necessitate an extraordinarily costly reorganization of the pattern of living in industrialized nations, particularly in the United States... War, of course, cancels all man's expectations... The effect on Europe, which depends on coal and oil imports, would be disastrous and we would have to share our own supplies or lose our allies... We began life in 1776 as a nation of less than four million people - spread over a vast continent - with seemingly inexhaustible riches of nature all about. We conserved what was scarce - human labor - and squandered what seemed abundant - natural resources - and we are still doing the same today... An ever larger share of what we earn must go to solve problems caused by crowded living - bigger governments; bigger city, state, and federal budgets to pay for more public services... I suggest that this is a good time to think soberly about our responsibilities to our descendants - those who will ring out the Fossil Fuel Age. Our greatest responsibility, as parents and as citizens, is to give America's youngsters the best possible education... One final thought I should like to leave with you. High-energy consumption has always been a prerequisite of political power. The tendency is for political power to be concentrated in an ever-smaller number of countries. Ultimately, the nation which control - the largest energy resources will become dominant."

Latest change in "Russian hacking" story. Russia did it, but gave it to somebody to give to Wikileaks to cover their trail. (No, it certainly wasn't the mysteriously murdered, Seth Rich providing the data from his computer because of DNC criminality!) 

Here is a dissection of Henry Kissenger's history with Russia, his history within "realistic diplomacy" and some speculation as to his upcoming role in what would be a profitable political/economic alliance between Russia and the US, under a Trump administration. (It does not explore the mutual strategic interest in opening up the Arctic to massive oil production and shipping routes.)

Mutually Interested

No comments:

Post a Comment