Overall I appreciated the opportunity to hear Dr. Makhijani's lecture. Whether or not I completely agree with his work, I found it interesting to listen to the point of view of a well educated person with expereience who took the time to research and write a book on the subject of energy and CO2.
I have not read Dr. Makhijani's book but have read the summary assigned for class. One issue I am still unclear on is is how to have a "zero-CO2 econonmy" as clearly stated n the Central Finding while still producing the chemicals needed for our society to function. This may be addressed his book, but I did not see it addressed in the summary. I do not understand how we can possibly be CO2 neutral with out addressing a variety of other areas of our "economy" that include petroleum products. Petroleum products are used in medical devices, detergents, styrofoam, soaps (for our face and body), cosmetics, fabrics, ets. The list goes on and on. Take a look at the ingredients on your packaging of your shampoo, cosmetics, lotion, etc and you may find methyl paraben or propylene glycol. Next time you take a multivitamin think of where the chemicals used to test it come from. I do not believe one can thoroughly discuss our dependence on oil with out addressing (in detail) the chemical industry. Companies like Conoco Philips and Chevron do not rely solely on our dependence on gasoline, they wisely chose to manufacture the chemicals produced from petroleum wich our society is addicted to and which a large portion of our population literally can not live with out.
I understand our class is more energy focused, but I do not think we should ignore what else our primary engergy source (fossil fuels) is used for. Becasue with out addressing our use of petroleum for the chemical industry we can not eliminate our use for it. While research is being done to provide alternatives to certain plastics, we are still a very long way away from being free from them.