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Monday, December 21, 2015

Energy and liberty

An excellent long-range thinkpiece by Nick at Capitalistsatwork, looking at the energy landscape in the wake of the closure of the UK's last deep coal mine.

I comment:

Bang on. It's very worrying. England's population was only 7.1 million in the early 18th C; for GDP-expanding reasons, we seem to have a policy of suicidal population overshoot. If ever the wonderful world-wide goods trading system hiccups we're sunk into the most terrible chaos - WW2 ended just in time for us, as our soil was getting exhausted ("losing heart" was the phrase used, I understand) - and that was with a population considerably smaller than now, and much more growing land.

And I've been thinking recently that our quasi-democracy and civil rights are luxury by-products of the new energy sources and technological development and empire-building of the Industrial Revolution, else we might easily have gone the way of the French Terror. Funny how we suddenly stopped burning women at the stake in 1789.

We've had Illich's "
energy slaves" for two or three centuries and that's going to change. US/Mexican billlonaire Hugo Salinas Price reckons we'll see the return of domestic service. And maybe the servants will lose the franchise.

Follow-up: Google "Olduvai Theory."


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1 comment:

James Higham said...

Suicidal population overshoot - yes.