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  • Post Carbon Institute presents

  • The Ultimate Roller Coaster Ride

  • An abbreviated history of fossil fuels

  • It all started with a Big Bang.

  • Wait, we don't have to go back that far.

  • The Earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago.

  • No, still too far.

  • Try this: It's the Middle Ages.

  • People in Britain run out of firewood

  • and start burning coal, but they use up the coal on the ground.

  • Miners dig deep. Coal mines fill with water.

  • Samuel Newcomen invents a coal-burning steam engine

  • to pump out water so miners can keep digging.

  • .

  • James Watt makes it practical for other uses.

  • Now we have ingredients for the Industrial Revolution

  • fossil fuels and a way to put them to work.

  • All hell breaks loose.

  • Coal miners bog down lugging coal. Rails make it easier.

  • .

  • Rails and steam engine combined make a railroad.

  • Michael Faraday makes the first electric motor.

  • Nicola Tesla invents alternating current.

  • Soon, utility companies start burning coal to generate electricity.

  • Meanwhile, Edwin Drake drills the first Rock Oil well in Pennsylvania.

  • and Carl Daimler builds an automobile running on petroleum.

  • Coal tar and oil are turned into industrial chemicals

  • and pharmaceuticals that prolong life. More population growth.

  • The Wright brothers start oil fueled aviation.

  • Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch make fertilizer from fossil fuels.

  • Fertilizer and oil powered tractors

  • expand food production, feeding more people.

  • World War I is the first fossil fueled conflict.

  • Then comes World War II, giving us guided missiles and atom bombs.

  • In between is a great depression partly caused by overproduction.

  • Powered assembly lines make products faster than people need them.

  • Advertising executives invent consumerism to soak up overproduction.

  • It's the 1950's.

  • Advertisers use television to hook new generations of consumers.

  • In the 70's there's an oil shock.

  • Everyone's shocked to realize how dependent they are on oil.

  • With the energy crisis, the environmental movement is born.

  • But oil prices fall and everyone forgets energy shortages.

  • There's a showdown between market and planned economies.

  • Market wins. Goodbye evil Soviet Empire.

  • Politicians decide the market will solve everything.

  • Personal computers arrive.

  • Globalization takes over when the market notices

  • labor is cheaper in China.

  • Suddenly everyone has a cell phone. But world oil production stalls out.

  • China's now burning half the world's coal to make export products.

  • But where will China get more coal and oil to fuel more growth?

  • Environmental problems everywhere!

  • Rising CO2-levels lead to record heat waves,

  • floods, droughts. Oceans acidify.

  • Top soil erodes by 25 billion tons a year from industrial agriculture.

  • Ancient forests disappear.

  • Species go extinct at a thousand times normal rates.

  • Fresh water's scarce or polluted.

  • Oil companies drill in miles of sea water because the easy oil is gone.

  • But a deep water oil platform explodes and fouls the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Manufacturing moves to polluting countries where labor is cheap

  • while the US becomes a casino.

  • The financial sector is forty percent of the economy!

  • But Wall Street is over-leveraged.

  • Banks fail. Unemployment soars. Credit evaporates!

  • The economy is on the verge of collapse!

  • Ok, present time. It's amazing how far we've come

  • in two hundred years. Just three human lifetimes

  • from the beginning of industrialism until now.

  • But where are we headed?

  • We can't keep doubling human population.

  • We can't keep dumping carbon in the atmosphere.

  • We can't keep ruining top soil.

  • We can't keep growing population and consumption

  • or basing our economy on depleting fossil fuels.

  • We can't just print more money to solve the debt crisis.

  • It's been an exhilarating ride but there are limits.

  • No, it's not the end of the world but we have to do four things fast.

  • Learn to live without fossil fuels.

  • Adapt to the end of economic growth as we've known it.

  • Support seven billion humans and

  • stabilize population at a sustainable level,

  • and deal with our legacy of environmental destruction.

  • In short, we have to live within nature's budget

  • of renewable resources at rates of natural replenishment.

  • Can we do it?

  • We have no choice!

  • Alternative energy sources are important

  • but none can fully replace fossil fuels in the time we have.

  • Also, we've designed and built our infrastructure

  • for transport, electricity and farming to suit oil, coal and gas.

  • Changing to different energy sources will require us to

  • redesign cities, manufacturing processes, health care and more.

  • We'll also have to rethink some of our cultural values.

  • None of our global problems can be tackled in isolation

  • and many cannot be fully solved.

  • We have to prepare for business as unusual.

  • Our best goal is resilience,

  • the ability to absorb shocks and keep going.

  • If we do nothing, we still get to a post-carbon future

  • but it will be bleak.

  • However, if we plan the transition,

  • we can have a world that supports

  • robust communities of healthy, creative people

  • and ecosystems with millions of other species.

  • One way or the other, we're in for the ride of a lifetime.

  • Understand the issues and pitch in.

  • It's all hands on deck.

  • Post Carbon Institute - www.postcarbon.org

  • Narrated by: Richard Heinberg

  • Illustrated by: Monstro - www.monstrodesign.com

Post Carbon Institute presents

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B1 中級

300秒でわかる300年分のFOSSIL FUELS (300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds)

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    王惟惟 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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