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Mr. Roboto

Thanks for making it a softball. I'm having one of my foggy, bleary diabetes-days, so if you hadn't gone easy on us, I might have actually had think about this one. ;-)

The first thing that comes to mind is the same problem with the tar-sands, that is, Energy Returned On Energy Invested. The net-energy we will get out of tar-sands and oil-shale is rather less impressive than the cheerleaders would have you think. Not only that, what energy we do get out of it will flow at the rate of a slow trickle, so meeting the rising demands of a bloated growth-for-growth's-sake economy with these silly schemes, simply won't happen.

There's also the little detail that the processes used for extracting energy from tar-sands and oil-shale are horrendously polluting. It really is an example of the short-sightedness inherent in human nature, that we would make the planet less conducive to supporting human life in the long-term for such fleeting, ultimately useless energy-gain.

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