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"energy Resources And Our Future" - Remarks By Admiral Hyman Rickover Delivered In 1957

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Fascinating article - equating energy to manual labour output and teh consequences of growing and then falling energy supply.

http://www.energybulletin.net/23151.html

FOR RELEASE AT 7:00 P.M. TUESDAY, MAY 14, 1957

Remarks Prepared by

Rear Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, USN

Chief, Naval Reactors Branch

Division of Reactor Development

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

and

Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Ships for Nuclear Propulsion

Navy Department

For Delivery at a Banquet of the Annual Scientific Assembly of

the Minnesota State Medical Association

St. Paul, Minnesota

May 14, 1957

Energy Resources and Our Future

I am honored to be here tonight, though it is no easy thing, I assure you, for a layman to face up to an audience of physicians. A single one of you, sitting behind his desk, can be quite formidable.

My speech has no medical connotations. This may be a relief to you after the solid professional fare you have been absorbing. I should like to discuss a matter which will, I hope, be of interest to you as responsible citizens: the significance of energy resources in the shaping of our future.

We live in what historians may some day call the Fossil Fuel Age. Today coal, oil, and natural gas supply 93% of the world's energy; water power accounts for only 1%; and the labor of men and domestic animals the remaining 6%. This is a startling reversal of corresponding figures for 1850 - only a century ago. Then fossil fuels supplied 5% of the world's energy, and men and animals 94%. Five sixths of all the coal, oil, and gas consumed since the beginning of the Fossil Fuel Age has been burned up in the last 55 years.

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Wind and water power can furnish only a very small percentage of our energy needs. Moreover, as with solar energy, expensive structures would be required, making use of land and metals which will also be in short supply. Nor would anything we know today justify putting too much reliance on solar energy though it will probably prove feasible for home heating in favorable localities and for cooking in hot countries which lack wood, such as India.

More promising is the outlook for nuclear fuels. These are not, properly speaking, renewable energy sources, at least not in the present state of technology, but their capacity to "breed" and the very high energy output from small quantities of fissionable material, as well as the fact that such materials are relatively abundant, do seem to put nuclear fuels into a separate category from exhaustible fossil fuels. The disposal of radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants is, however, a problem which must be solved before there can be any widespread use of nuclear power.

This could have been a speech given last week!

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Fascinating article - equating energy to manual labour output and teh consequences of growing and then falling energy supply.

http://www.energybulletin.net/23151.html

Full text of this 1957 speech was posted on the Oil Drum on June 30 (2007) and readers have added their comments: Energy Resources and Our Future. Like Hubbert, a visionary!

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