One of the greatest threats to mankind is energy scarcity. Millions of people have died in the last century for lack of it and millions more have died fighting to control it. The greatest minds have determined that energy on our planet is finite and that the sources of cheap energy, oil, coal and natural gas will one day run out leaving man’s productive output on the planet to collapse
The human paradigm: you cannot make more energy from less energy. In every energy transaction there is always energy that becomes unusable called “entropy”. Our captains of industry have capitalized on this understanding to create energy scarcity, controlling the world’s output to collect economic rent from that scarcity.
Yet in reality, we are surrounded by, for our purposes, limitless motion energy, solar energy and planetary magnetic energy that we have so far only begun to understand, much less to barely harness. Will these energy sources one day prove the human paradigm a fallacy as we learn to sustain the world and escape what would have been a warring hegemonic transition as carbon emissions finally proved uninhabitable for humans?
One of the first homes I bought had a carriage house with an underground fuel tank. It was built in 1906. The carriage house shared space for the automobile and the horse. A few decades before that men were travelling in sailing ships for years on end to supply the nation with lamp oil gathered by cracking open the brain cavities of sperm whales caught around the world. What seemed heroic and practical barely a century before seems odd today as we view the energy spectrum looking back in time.
Yet looking back seems a much easier task than peering forward the same distance in time. When man in the near distant future learns to levitate off magnetic earth beams to travel and every home has its earth magneto generator and solar converters for self contained energy, and every community on earth is able to sustain water and food consumption from similar power sources, we will look back on the 20th and 21st centuries as the ones in which millions of people died in wars to control perceived energy scarcities when in fact we were literally awash in energy.
The real question is whether we focus our human energy on harnessing human capital to crack the code of abundance or whether we allow our current model of financial servitude to drag the world to its lowest denominator at the precipice between a new age of immense hyper-accelerated learning or the counter trend toward a repeated dark age.
My vote is on getting polarized factions to understand we are all on the same planet with the same goal of growing the pie big enough for all to share in abundance. Pareto Optimal solutions must be employed. If, for instance, we attempt to reach abundance off the back of fossil fuel, we will all die on a poisoned planet before we reach our goal. Therefore, fossil fuel must only be a transition as crass as whale brain cavities in our search for a better answer.
When we will solve our energy problem, I am not sure for I for I am stuck in the engineering paradigm of this century. But I do know that the true energy needed to levitate billions of 1s and 0s in an IPhone is much, much less than the energy used to levitate much fewer binomial expressions in the main frames housed on entire floors of corporate offices just a few short decades ago. And I do know that the information generated this year will be more than all the information generated since the world began. And I do know that we will now share this information at the speed of light with billions of people on the planet, who will use this information to spur original thought in trillions of synapses connected to a supernatural life form.
Yet while this enormous bout of abundance creation is spiraling headlong toward a break through portal, I also know that there are those that fashion themselves elite who are, “for the good of an ignorant world”, clinging to the power of carbon and sending their jackals to guard the gates of digital information to slow its exponential expansion in hopes of harnessing the world’s capacity for abundance as scarcity rent.
Therefore, the race is on. We will either survive through the portal to a new paradigm, or we will wither into a subservient existence, lacking the collective wherewithal to find our thriving path. Let’s win the race.