By Debi Barker and Jerry Mander, AlterNet. Posted September 12, 2007.Having made ethanol into this magic elixir, politicians, financial investors, and the occasional environmental organization are masking the need for far deeper investigation and solutions.
AdvertisementThe burgeoning reality of global climate change, rooted in a century of over-consumption of fossil fuels, is merging with another crisis with the same basic root cause–the looming depletion of inexpensive oil and gas supplies (“peak oil”). Combined, they bring the world to an unprecedented and profoundly dangerous moment that threatens global environmental and social crises on an epic scale.
These crises potentially include a breakdown of the most basic operating structures of our society, even industrialism itself, at least at its present scale. Long distance transportation, industrial food systems, complex urban and suburban systems, and many commodities basic to our present way of life–autos, plastics, chemicals, pesticides, refrigeration, et al.–are all rooted in the basic assumption of ever-increasing inexpensive energy supplies.