This economy is going down

The latest post from Tim Watkins concludes that:

The only “solution” to the energy crunch that is now beginning to bite is to add another, even more energy-dense fuel source to the mix – in the same way that our ancestors added coal to wood and peat burning, and then added oil and gas on top of coal. The trouble is that all of the energy sources currently on offer – wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro, wave and tide – are far less energy-dense than the oil, gas and coal which still account for 85 percent of global energy. This means that no matter how rapidly we are able to deploy them – and depleting energy and resources make deployment ever harder – they can never provide us with the surplus energy to continue growing the economy.

In a saner world, perhaps, our best academic minds – and let’s face it, that excludes most of us – would be working on discovering and developing new high energy-density sources of power on the off chance that we might maintain the best and eradicate the worse of what we have achieved in three centuries of industrial civilisation. In the meantime, the rest of us would be best employed creating more resilient and localised – albeit far less material – economies, as we adjust to what is possible in a world without fossil fuels. Sadly though – as the old saying goes – those who the Gods seek to destroy they first drive mad…