gbutler69 writes "I've been a long-time lurker here on Slashdot. I've only occasionally posted in response to various subjects. One thing I've come to realize is that there are a lot of really intelligent and thoughtful people who read and respond to articles on Slashdot. It is with this in mind, that I come here to ask this very serious question.
Recently, I've become involved in a government project to install "Radiation Detectors" in ports entering the U.S. as well as ports in other countries leaving for the U.S. The system is designed to "scan" cargo containers for Radioactive Materials. Ostensibly, the "system" will prevent "terrorists" from smuggling dirty bombs and whatnot into the U.S. in order to disrupt "our" way of life.
In working on this project, I've met a number of people who work for the DOE (Department of Energy) and various government labs and contractor firms. All of them are intelligent and talented people who I sincerely believe have the best of interests of the nation (and even the world) at heart. They all seem to realize that "this" is not what is needed. They would all rather be working on solving the energy problems. None that I've spoken with seem to have any serious belief that there is really any seriously viable alternative to the worlds energy needs as the oil runs dry.
The more I read about the subject of "Peak Oil" and the more I speak with those who would be most likely to have a solution to the problem, the more it seems that there really isn't any viable solution.
It seems apparent to me, that if "we" do not find a solution for the energy needs of the world SOON, then humanity will inevitably fall into decline. The world cannot support the current population if energy continues to become more and more scarce.
People will not just go silently into the night as resources begin to dry up. Food will become ever more expensive and scarce. People will freeze to death in the winter. There will be massive dislocations of populations and extensive famines. Disease will run rampant.
Of course there will be isolated pockets of civilization that manage to corner certain "energy" production/harvesting methods (maybe some nuclear, some wind, some solar, etc, etc). But, for the most part, there will be a massive energy shortage and people will "Die"! Many will die at the hands of others at people panic and try to survive.
Population will decline. Civilizations will crumble. Humanity will die. We will never conquer the solar system, much less the Galaxy. We will be extinct!
My question is this:
Does anyone have any reasonable evidence to show that this will not happen? What I mean is, what are the alternatives for energy that can stop this from happening?
Sorry, but saying, "They'll figure it out" is not going to cut it. Waving hands and saying "if this" and "if that" followed by "then if this works" and so on and so on is not an answer.
Seriously, what are the alternatives? What are the numbers? Where is the evidence that there is any serious alternative for when the oil runs dry?"