“In 1859 the human race discovered a huge treasure chest in its basement. This was oil and gas, a fantastically cheap and easily available source of energy. We did, or at least some of us did, what anybody does who discovers a treasure in the basement – live it up, and we have been spending this treasure with great enjoyment” – Kenneth E. Boulding (1978)
And using it up precariously with wanton abandon, finding any possible way to exploit the abundant energy we’re soon to run out of. Much like the fable with the ant saving food for the winter and the grasshopper playing all summer long until he finds no food to live on in the winter. The problem here is we don’t have a big brother that we can rely on when our energy stores are depleted. It may be a long winter’s night indeed.
What incentives are needed for society and governments to truly start taking the need for alternative energy sources seriously? The affluent won’t adopt new technologies because they can afford to pay for energy prices, therefore, we need to force the issue any way we can so that renewable energy sources can become accessible for all.
As we are finding out, the party is really over.