Energy Transition & the Luxury Economy

That’s great! It starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, an airplane
and Lenny Bruce is not afraid.”

REM, The end of the world as we know it

I spent a good part of my day yesterday listening to and reading Simon Michaux, who I now consider one of the most important people in our world. I really cannot exaggerate its importance. He should be a household name. Before yesterday, I knew only a little about the man and his thoughts. But now it’s like I crossed a bridge and saw the world in a new light. That new knowledge is described as being as close to certainty as I can get about anything. One is almost 100% sure of something. It’s good to be open minded. But sometimes some things are very close to certainty. That is the light in which I look at the famous story of the change of power. That story is clear lying. It’s not just a little mistake, it’s true terrible lying In other words, not only will we not continue to use industrial products – as we know them – as they are now, only using renewable energies, but it will never continue. It’s really all. It’s going up in smoke. The days are numbered, but those days are few. It’s a lot less than most people think. It is much less than what we prepare for, or prepare for.

I’ve always been on this absolutely certain position, and have been on that position for many years, but recently Richard Heinberg came out and said that the price of energy is change. the force is that there must be a “blanket” the use of agricultural energy, and greenhouse gas emissions, is associated with the proliferation of ‘renewable energy’ infrastructure and equipment. If I understand correctly what Heinberg is saying here, he is saying that for a large number of years, as the world builds this ‘renewable’ energy infrastructure, the result will definitely be a increase, instead of reducing it, to greenhouse gasses – the ‘energy revolution’ has been created which is completely at odds with its main purpose. After all, as people like Kevin Anderson have been saying for years, the reduction must begin nownot ten years from now or more.

What Richard Heinberg did not say in that article is that it is appropriate All of that renewable energy infrastructure can be mined, pumped for, produced, transported and installed without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. if humanity must rapidly reduce energy use in most everything others sector of the economy. But are we really the kind of people who will abandon cars, mass tourism around the world and an expensive, dependent economy for the sole purpose of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy infrastructure? ? In other words, we will literally make this huge collection of innovative infrastructure ours. top prioritized as a culture and culture – to the point of making major sacrifices to other powerful areas?

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But there is another question that is very related. And this is one that Simon Michaux has answered. The question is… Or the same possible Will the world replace enough renewable energy to sustain a digital industrial economy like the one that now surrounds most of the globe? In a nutshell, Michaux says no. It can’t be – it’s definitely not a time frame that matters. He said that we do not have enough supply of the necessary metals and minerals to do this. And he makes a very strong case for this, with a lot of data.

We can produce some that asset and some are those devices (eg, electric cars, solar panels, motorcycles…)? Yes, but he won’t be there a lot which enables technological innovation as we know to continue. Period. full stop.

So what does this mean?

Speaking for myself, this is the beginning of the end of the world as we know — almost everywhere. There cannot be an easy and smooth transition of our power systems. This means that this is the beginning of the end of the economy as we know it.

The well-known fact that the “change of power” is a story of maintaining an economic, technological and social regime with only a few small adjustments, rather than a major change. That story cannot be investigated. Also, the idea of ​​”climate activism” and climate politics are being circulated in activist circles today. All this does not require a small change, but a serious review (and change) at its core.

Two informative, and deeply related, explanations are presented in the light of the Heinberg Pulse and the Michaux Monkeywrench1. These are:

  1. A decline in energy (and therefore a decline in wealth, measured by GDP/GWP) is inevitable in the near term.
  2. We are living in the last days of what I call the “luxury economy”.

If you click on the words “energy” above, it will bring you to a Wikipedia article on that topic. Energy reduction is defined there as “a process by which a society either voluntarily or involuntarily reduces the overall reduction of four “use of force.” My argument is that we are run outinevitable, entering the force on the basis of there are two specialized and process-, although global energy consumption has continued to increase for some time. In other words, the world’s energy consumption has reached a peak, and we now know that. The sustainability of the world’s energy use will begin to decrease significantly by a lot soon, whether we like it or not. (But we are a group select this process is initiated willingly … even if it is forced by unplanned measures as long as it’s our choice. So there’s a bit of a problem here, because it doesn’t seem like it was intended to start with power or surprise. or and involuntarily. Think of it as getting a big poke in the hull of the ship we’re in. The ship did not begin to sink. However, there is snow. Heinberg’s ‘pulse’ and Michaux’s monkey wrench define where we are. The ship called Normal will not last. He went down. And soon “the (public) story” will change, and we will not pretend otherwise. But now we are on the cusp of this understanding a nation. The story has to change, don’t lying.

What is “economics”?

I define a luxury economy as an economic system that access to care which depend on expensive goods and services to avoid economic and social collapse.

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I can’t think of a better way to illustrate this concept of economic wealth than to start with this graph.

In 1840, about 70% of Americans worked in agriculture. In 2020, only 1.3% of Americans worked in agriculture. Farming, a way of life, is for example economic activity is based on demand (economic sector). People have to eat, after all. But technological ‘advances’ in agriculture (mainly in the form of farm machinery) enabled a major shift in the agricultural workforce, and this graphs usually tell a story of the replacement of manual laborers with mechanical labor – or a horror. multiply “units of production” per man-hour. As the need for labor in food production decreased, and as technology ‘advanced’ it also affected many other sectors. the economic activity based on needs, the economic system based on luxury and dependent on the economy made it possible to have the opportunity to live the workers by standing given. jobs in the production and distribution of goods and services that would have been considered luxuries in 1840 – or 1900, or 1940. Historically, the American economy has become increasingly dependent on economic activity in a downward spiral is the same. happened in agriculture, making America one of the leaders in relying on the “expensive economy” just to provide opportunities to live among its citizens.

Modern economies are machine-centered, and rely heavily on artificial intelligence. The economy is based on needs that are small and use relatively large amounts of endosomatic energy. Endosomatic energy is the energy you use to swing a hammer or ride a bicycle. Specific energy is the energy used by the engine of your car or your lawnmower. The economy of the future will be based on the abundance of endosomatic energy.

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In fact, people differ greatly in what they consider “important” and what they consider “nice”. In my opinion, if forced to offer a model of power and luxury economy it should include cars higher than mine. list, even though the lives of some will be severely disrupted if they are forced to live without a car. Another great example of luxury goods and services would be traveling by plane. And these two things are one of the most important things in using fossil fuels and natural gas. Living without a car may be challenging, but it won’t lead to starvation or misery in most cases. And, importantly, we can rearrange things so that living without a car will be much, much easier.

The future of our economies, everywhere in the “developed world” (aka, northern world, rich world) will and must be less dependent on the supply of expensive goods and services – especially those goods expensive and energy-efficient services, whether or not fuel is used directly.

The transition to a smaller, slower and less dynamic economy will be much smoother and smoother if we make this transition deliberately, intelligently and willingly. . If we wait to be forced to do so by circumstances that are inevitable—but not inevitable—it is an unforeseen disaster.

Unfortunately, governments cannot lead the way by adopting policies that are legal and allow for power (and wealth). In fact, it seems unlikely that they will use such policies – for now. Apparently, we should start working as communities, outside of governments, to think and make this change before governments. This will require a paradigm shift in politics – a shift from state politics to the politics of local organizations that operate largely outside of government. Only then, I suspect, will governments begin to consider taking this journey with us. But we shouldn’t rely on it, I think. As I often say, a leopard cannot change its spots.

Let us lead as free people, no matter what. To be free, one must first be able to think about freedom.

1 The Heinberg Pulse the cost of energy is the ‘energy change’ – which indicates that greenhouse gases must be emitted increase in the near future in order to be able to build renewable energy infrastructure in the near future-, if the well-known image of the ‘energy transition’ is used.

Of the Michaux Monkeywrench the monkey wrench is thrown into the system of “power change” when we show that the world cannot provide something rare and rare-ish metals and minerals that enable the well-known vision of “energy change”.

Image credit: By Usien – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,


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