Special Issue "Net Gains from Depleting Fossil Energy and Mineral Sources"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2011)
Prof. Dr. Charles A.S. Hall
Professor Emeritus of Faculty of Environmental & Forest Biology, College of Environmental Science & Forestry, State University of New York, 354 Illick Hall, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, New York, NY 13210, USA
Phone: 315 469 7271
Fax: +1 315 470 6934
Interests: systems ecology; computer simulation models; integrative geographical modeling of environments and economies, Energy Retrun on Investment (EROI), Developing Biophysical Economics
Dr. Doug Hansen
Hansen Financial Management 12717 Monterey Cypress Way San Diego, CA 92130, USA
The energy and material demands of societies continue to grow, along with considerable empirical evidence suggesting that many economies are becoming less efficient. Thus, present rates of extraction and consumption of natural resources, and general growth will remain or increase. These trends will change when the energetic costs to procure materials can no longer be covered. Several materials have the potential to become limiting factors to society within the short to medium term and would affect strategies towards sustainability.
The ongoing depletion of cheap fossil fuel affects the availability of crude oil for synthetic products as well as for its energy content. The ongoing depletion of several elements will affect industrial processes including the production of alternative energy sources to compensate the dwindling fossil energy sources. Other elements in decline are essential in food production and in addition are being competed for by the rapidly increasing biofuel production. The depletion of high quality sources of various elements could be compensated for by accessing lesser quality sources, however it requires an elevated input of energy which is already in shortage.
This Special Issue aims to look at sustainability through the analysis of net gains from extraction of fossil fuels and critical elements. How much energy is needed to extract and deliver a unit of energy from a fossil source? How much energy does it take to extract rare earth elements from declining sources and produce alternative energy devices? How costly are the externalities resulting from the artificial dissipation of extracted elements?
Dr. Werner T. Flueck