Energy Slaves

An interesting piece in the latest Energy Bulletin. I was talking to an energy specialist at a conference this week. Among the striking things he said was that of the fuel alternatives hurriedly being researched by the petro-giants and even faster by ecologically-inclined scientists, none is better than one tenth as efficient – ratio of energy in (extraction, processing) to energy out – as oil. Indeed some are around one hundreth the efficiency.

On a related note, the driest April in recorded history in Europe is leading to fears over the wheat harvest which is already threatened in May, months before it is due to be cultivated. A ruined harvest would mean a dramatic rise in the price of Europe’s main food commodity – bread.