The Energy Crisis
I just finished reading The Long Emergency.
The author, James Kunstler, has described a scenario
that few of us can really absorb.
Although Kunstler sees the world very much as I do.
His response to it is almost the antithesis of my view.
But the work is an important one.
For it shows what can happen to us all,
if we choose to respond to the problems of the 21st century.
with 19th century minds,
and hardened 20th century hearts.
We do not face an energy crisis.
We face a crisis of consciousness.
The Universe is not about to run out of energy.
There is energy everywhere.
In fact, as Einstein predicted and Oppenheimer proved, mass itself is energy.
We are at the end of a very long road. Starting with gathered wood, then moving to peat and coal, to whale oil and plant oils, to rock oil and its sister natural gas, we have steadily developed in the art of using energy. Humankind’s great adventure of converting from the present carbon, fire burning age we now know, to an age where the radiant energy that exists all around is transformed to usable energy is upon us now.
We have only to recognize our condition and act responsibly.
We must act responsibly on the personal level, at the family level, the community level, the regional level, the national level, and the global level. A change of this historic magnitude will require leadership at each of these levels.
The vision that humankind is on the verge of a great future that has transcended the burning of carbon fuels is rather invigorating. The notion that the way we do things now is just not good enough has real power and potential. It opens us up to the possibility that life, as we know it, can be very different from the way it is now, and that a change of this magnitude can be very, very good for us, and perhaps even better for those who follow us.
In the next few decades, humankind will no longer need to burn carbon. We will more likely use the carbon we have placed in the air to build with that carbon through nanotechnology. We will no longer take resources out of the ground and smelt them like we did at the beginning of the Iron Age. We will no longer burn coal to make steam to drive a steam engine like we did at the beginning of the Industrial Age. We will no longer adhere to a belief that we must suffer a little bit of pollution if we are to prosper.
We will understand with our computers and with our interface with these and other tools of the mind and of control that many of the beliefs that were held to be true during the height of the age of carbon were true only during the Age of Carbon.
As computers and humans become more and more integrated, we will truly see new horizons in the biosciences, in medicine, in physics, in our understanding of the universe, and our place in it.
We will know and understand that the universe is full of energy.
And we will know and understand the abundance we have been given.
You can read the rest here.
Or you can buy a hard copy here.