Even if we're lucky and innovation keeps improving their energy density, swapping out the fossil infrastructure and replacing it with something renewables sustainably can support will take decades at best and require vast amounts of capital. Here's a complication, also explored by the comic.
Humans are really good at tapping and using the best and easiest resources first: the low-hanging fruit. And we've been really wasteful in the process.
The average late 20th Century citizen enjoys a servant count that exceeds the tally of any King Queen or tycoon who live in previous centuries," McMillen wrote. The Deepwater Horizon, in the Gulf of Mexico, descended through 1, meters of water and then through a further 4, meters of crust," McMillen wrote.
And, incidentally, "the Macondo oil field below the drilling platform contained a total volume of petroleum that would satisfy world oil consumption for only 12 hours. What does this mean? In the early s, "one energy slave could drill an oil well and discover another slaves to replace himself with," McMillen wrote.
Against time because the shift to renewables requires decades and vast amounts of capital. Will we complete the transition before some large disruptive global event nuclear war, cybersecurity attacks, climate change so destabilizes our social machinery that we can't afford and can't complete the journey?
Against depletion because, despite all our technological prowess and seemingly endless sources of innovation, the costs of energy extraction may begin to exceed the energy return on energy investment EROI less than 1. We're placing almost all of our bets on winning the race through technological improvements. It's worked in the past, underwritten by vast numbers of fossil energy slaves and seemingly limitless opportunities for innovation.
But with the energy demands of 7. This article originally ran on Environmental Health News. View the discussion thread. Buckminster Fuller, 'energy slaves' and the race against time.
Published time: 18 Jul, Edited time: 19 Jul, Get short URL. Follow RT on. Trump realDonaldTrump July 11, Media News. Russia, China launch construction of bridge across Amur river.
Wikimedia Commons The words "slavery" and "oil", when used together, are usually reserved for use in the context of palm oil, but the offshore. '12 Years A Slave' inspires us to think about slavery, but also about the oil that replaced slave labor. Today, that oil is both running and ruining.
Where to watch. Russia to build 2 nuclear power plants in Iran. Saudi Arabia announces mega tourism project on Red Sea.