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A little about me and what I mean by "sustainability"

Firstly a clarification, yes I am an Oil Industry Geologist so I am sure some people will instantly hate me but I am also a Mountain Biker and a Sailor so I think it is safe to say I enjoy the great outdoors and have my concerns over humanity's impact on our planet.  As a Geologist I studied all aspects of science, yes generally applied to millions of years ago, which gives me quite a broad brush scientific background and approach to problems.

So what do I mean when I think of Sustainability?  Fundamentally it is about living within ones means so the easiest way to describe it is by a question - "can the UK live within its energy generating capacity?"

Sustainability is not anti this or pro that, it is not about the "green thing" or "renewables", it is not about Carbon Dioxide (unfairly demonised in my humble opinion as we all breathe it out with every breath remember), it is about how much energy can we produce, as cleanly as possible, as reliably as possible, for as long as possible to maintain our current standard of living?  It is also about reducing our energy footprint, improving energy efficiency and preventing waste.

I prefer to use the terms Alternative Energy for new generation technologies instead of "renewables" as when you factor in the construction, maintenance and eventual decommisioning there is no way you can claim a wind turbine for instance is renewable.  They still need finite resources to construct them.  I also dislike the term "green" as this has been overused and abused.  An example fo this is biomass generation where trees are cut down on one continent, processed, transported to ports, shipped across an ocean by boat then burnt in a power station to claim "green" subsidies.  Excuse me but how the hell can anyone call that "green"?

Sure people will disagree with me on this but that's my thoughts and why I use the terminology I do.


I hope to use this blog to express my thoughts and ideas, to share knowledge with others, to ask questions, to raise issues and hopefully learn for experts in other parts of the field.  I can offer 19 years of field experience in oil and gas exploration and development so I hope I can shed some light on what goes on out there in the middle of the North Sea or how oil and gas will still play a vital part in our lives for many many years to come.


Topics: Energy efficiency & low-carbon
Tags: biomass | Energy Efficiency | gas | opinion | renewables | Subsidies
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