Our Delusional Economy Is Poised To Slam Into The Brick Wall Of Reality

Monday, October 1, 2018
By Paul Martin

Will you thrive, merely survive, or fail?

By Chris Martenson
Monday, 1 October 2018

While life has always been uncertain, today our choices matter more than ever. The decisions each of us make today will determine if we thrive, merely survive, or fail during the future time of upheaval ahead.

The window of opportunity to change course for humanity is all but closed. There’s simply no more time to hope that somehow, magically, the world’s entire energy complex will suddenly evolve to a bountiful and sustainable new plane — whether by market forces, by maverick billionaires like Elon Musk, or by happy accident.

As we hammer home constantly here at Peak Prosperity, energy is everything. Without it, our society simply can’t function.

And it’s critical to appreciate that it takes an investment of energy to migrate from energy solution to another.

Imagine you heat your house with wood, but want to switch to a forced air gas furnace. Is there energy involved in doing so? You bet there is. Besides the obvious new need for natural gas, there’s a huge amount of embodied energy in the manufacture and installation of your new furnace, all the duct work, and the delivery lines that will bring the gas to the furnace. Further, there will be electricity required to force the air from the furnace, through the ducts, and into your house.

The same is true when making transitions at the national level. What’s involved in the much larger projects of switching industrial agriculture away from the fossil fuel driven process of plowing, planting, fertilizing, irrigating, harvesting, drying or cooling, and then transporting food from the field to your table?

At each stage there’s an enormous amount of energy infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt and reconfigured to run on “something else.” Let’s examine the current dream that we’ll switchover to powering all of our farming needs with electricity.

The manufacture of the tractors and their thousands of components all have to be completely reconfigured to run on electricity — from the act of mining and smelting the metals used all the way through assembly and delivery to the farmer. At present, oil and other fossil fuel inputs are pretty much 100% of that process. The same is true for all of the other equipment and tools currently used in farming.

Could we do all this using electricity instead? Yes, of course.

Will it happen all on its own while we wait for “market forces” to do the job? Nope. Not a chance.

Why? Because it’s far cheaper, faster and easier to use fossil fuels. And humans are nothing if not lazy. Give us a cheaper and easier option and we’ll take it every single time. Which is no different really from a cheetah selecting a lame or slower gazelle over a faster and stronger one. It’s just how Nature works.

Waiting for “market forces” to magically replace an already-embedded, cheaper and easier energy source is hopeless. Absent a crisis that forces us to, as a society, we’d have to proactively decide to make that transition a top national priority and become deadly serious in our pursuit of it. And if we actually were to do this, it would certainly be a painful process for a good while.

The Rest…HERE

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