Ars Technica has a article on “synthetic gasoline” that does a poor job of pointing out the fallacies behind this technology. Yes, they do explain that it’s an energy-loss, and they do explain that it “recycles carbon” in a half-baked way. What I don’t like about it is how it completely fails to solve anything – and actually continues to make the problems we are facing even worse, which of course, the article doesn’t even mention. In fact, the article simply perpetuates the problems we have with our civilization and how we consume energy.
Overall, it’s just another article full of misinformation and deceptions. “There is still time to act” implies that this is true; and that we actually will. I call bullshit on this (again) because we’ve shown that we won’t make the necessary changes and those that have been tried are too little, too late. Emissions are obviously still rising, temperature are still increasing, species are still going extinct and capitalism is still destroying the biosphere. Which is exactly what “synthetic gasoline” advocates.
Continuing the present self-destructive paradigm is not a solution and never, ever will be. As I’ve always said, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, stop expecting different results because it “ain’t going to happen”. We already know what the outcome will be, as immutable as ever. No, the only way we’re going to change the outcome is with RADICAL redesign and expectations, but corporate capitalism and global greed has a deadly choke-hold upon the future of all life on this planet – and none of that is changing despite all the rhetoric and empty promises and lies being posed as “solutions”. They’re all lying, every single one of them, disguising their lies in pure babble and contradictory nonsense.
NO energy source is “entirely free of fossil fuels” which was stated as a fact (which it isn’t). This is part of the lies being promoted. You can’t even have the metals or cement or even the development of technologies without fossil fuels having been used at some point in the process. From there, this article goes on and on with even more lies.
Nor is there any such thing as “carbon neutral” technology. If humans built it – it’s not carbon-neutral for the same reason as the above paragraph. Sure, we can “recycle carbon” IF we deploy more carbon-produced energy from carbon-producing technology and pretend to call it “carbon-neutral” but of course it just more lies to claim we’re making “progress”. This isn’t progress, it’s perpetuating the status-quo of an energy hungry civilization that keeps producing more planet-killing carbon emissions but likes to deceive itself on its suicidal behavior.
Overall the article completely misses the point of perpetuating energy consumption while even admitting to “hugely increased demands”. This is Jevon’s Paradox in a nutshell, but remains unaddressed. Why is that? Why don’t these authors and researchers actually examine why we can’t simply change in necessary ways to ensure our future survival? They manage to admit that the future looks bleak indeed, and even that “we live in perilous times” but completely fail to even discuss how and where we must change if we are to survive. I always find this puzzling. Are they afraid of pissing off their advertisers? Or do they lack the vision and intelligence to admit the obvious truths?
All energy creation *by humans* ultimately derived from fossil fuels. Hydroelectric dams, geothermal energy and everything else was built from the extraction, processing, transportation and burning of fossil fuels. All forms of “synthetic” energy and alternative energy still relies on the consumption of fossil fuels – none of these technology can or ever will produce themselves. So this means that fossil fuels are here to stay – forever, whether we like it or not. IF we could capture ALL of their emissions in the entire lifecycle, only then would they be “carbon neutral” but this complete lifecycle emissions capture is never really discussed or included in calculations. Instead, advocates continue to lie and fudge the numbers to promote their fantasies.
I agree that we need far greater efficiencies and energy-returns, we can’t just keep burning carbon indefinitely without deadly consequences (of which many have already been released). But what I never seem to read is how we should re-engineer the very basis of our civilization to stop demanding more and more energy and the required resource extractions to support it. Nor do I read about how we can choose a truly sustainable path to live differently on this planet that does not indefinitely cause enormous harm and destruction by our species.
It seems as if nobody actually understands that all these technological “fixes” don’t actually fix anything. At best, the postpone the inevitable (assuming they are not abandoned, which is a fair assumption). This is also never discussed and nobody seems to be aware of this.
The taboo topic that frightens the living hell out of everyone (myself included) is to change how we live, radically.
The real problem is the pathetic attempts to perpetuate a civilization that always demands more. More energy. More technology. More extraction. More population. Basically, more of everything. We all know that there is no such thing as “carbon neutral”. This is a marketing term to deceive the ignorant (which it does, quite nicely).
Developing “fuel” (which it really isn’t) that will require more energy to produce (and thus more emissions) then it provides is just more attempts to perpetuate a self-destructive civilization that does not care enough about its future survivability. Or about the survival of other species. In the end it will all fail. We also all know this, deep down inside. You cannot keep adding excessive energy to the Earth via carbon emissions trapping solar energy indefinitely – but that is EXACTLY what all these “fixes” are actually doing (and advocating). None are ending the carbon pollution cycle. None are reducing energy demands.
Jevons Paradox reveals itself over and over again. I’ve long advocate that we devise a new civilization instead of perpetuating this one which is clearly suicidal and ecologically destructive. No – we cannot all have it all, not this way and not forever. The lack of insight, vision, political will and even understanding will instead insist on promoting the failed paradigm of “growth”, technology and profits and will in turn destroy all habitability of the planet for pretty much every mammal (and likely most everything else) because in every scenario, these advocates insist on maintaining the status-quo: growth, profits, consumption, extraction, capitalism and infinite energy consumption without regard to the long-term consequences. It’s insane behavior and belief, and will likely lead to our eventual extinction.