I have been greatly enjoying John Greer’s book, The Wealth of Nature – Economics as if Survival Mattered. This morning I read one of my very favorite sections so far, which is particularly well summed up in this sentence: “There’s nothing really remarkable about the future; it’s simply that the unparalleled abundance that our civilization bought by burning through half a billion years of stored sunlight in three short centuries has left most people in the industrial world clueless about the basic realities of human life in more ordinary times.”
Our age of abundant concentrated energy, that is, the age of the industrial revolution, is an anomaly. It must be. Like a saver who all of the sudden uses 10 years worth of savings in 1 day to buy a absolutely fantastic firework display, we too have spent all the earth’s energy savings in just a few hundred years. Now we must face the fact that it is time to again live more meager lives. I personally do no think that is a bad thing, but the transition is sure to be rough, especially in regions that have been particularly spoiled… *cough cough* The U.S. *cough cough*.