An observation worth noting … and pondering, from J. David Hughes:

A new energy dialogue is needed in the U.S. with an understanding of the true potential, limitations, and costs—both financial and environmental—of the various fossil fuel energy panaceas being touted by industry and government proponents. The U.S. cannot drill and frack its way to ‘energy independence.’ At best, shale gas, tight oil, tar sands, and other unconventional resources provide a temporary reprieve from having to deal with the real problems: fossil fuels are finite, and production of new fossil fuel resources tends to be increasingly expensive and environmentally damaging. Fossil fuels are the foundation of our modern global economy, but continued reliance on them creates increasing risks for society that transcend our economic, environmental, and geopolitical challenges. The best responses to this conundrum will entail a rethink of our current energy trajectory. [1]

Who doesn’t like a simple, trouble-free story? In these times, saddled as we are by a host of economic, cultural, and political woes, who wants to add energy-supply problems to the mix? I know I don’t, and I can’t imagine too many people won’t agree.

But when organizations and spokespersons are deliberately withholding important information that would help citizens prepare and plan for challenges ahead, or when they cherry-pick only those few factors to fit their self-serving narratives, we have a problem.

And the problem is that the problems will become bigger problems absent some integrity and honesty from sources who do in fact know more and know better.

No credible spokesperson with working knowledge of the fossil fuel industry will doubt that fracking has boosted oil production in recent years. But to make that statement without adding all of the equally relevant information about costs; decline rates; environmental and community consequences; quality; depletion of conventional supplies; energy investments, and financial commitments which all factor in to an honest and full assessment of energy supply and production, the obstacles and challenges become that much more difficult to address and overcome.

Certainly some small groups profit from the careful selection of choice information and no more, but you can be damn sure that is a small group—and we’re not in it.

~ My Photo: low tide out to Salt Island – 11.13.12

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[1]; Drill, Baby, Drill: Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance? by J. David Hughes [Feb. 2013] © 2013 by Post Carbon Institute [Santa Rosa, CA]

NOTE: This is the continuation of a series suspended in 2012. The first 5 Quotes of Note were posted last year