We Can Build Compact Walkable Towns Instead of Suburban Wastelands
Friday, September 6, 2013
On the Possibility for Civilisations in an Energy Scarce Future
JMG - in the absence of any viable petroleum sources for the first 10
million years, where are these Global Civilisations getting their energy
from to for instance create aerostat towns?
As I understood it,
the basis for a lot of your work is that a Global Civilisation would not
be possible in the absence of a cheap and abundant source of
concentrated energy, so it would be unlikely that such a civilisation
could exist once those sources have depleted.
I'd envisage a
more medieval type of civilisation or those of earlier ones such as the
Romans, Mongols or Babylonians once the memory of todays technology,
along with the energy to produce it have become myths or forgotten
entirely. I'd expect such civilisations to be much more localised and
develop at different rates, unaware of each others existence.
this period before petroleum sources are replenished by the Earths own
processes, we would be forced to live off our energy 'income' rather
than 'inheritance' as I believe you have previously stated.
John Michael Greer said...
Martin, I've argued at some length in my book The Ecotechnic Future
that industrial society is merely the first, and the most cluelessly
wasteful, of a potential range of technic societies, defined as
societies that use a significant amount of energy from sources other
than human and animal muscle. There are plenty of things that can still
be done with the more modest energy flows that can be obtained from
renewable sources, and I expect that a future society that plays its
cards right could certainly manage aerostats and a global civilization
without having to waste energy as freely as we have.