[ExI] How Electricity Became a Luxury Good

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Sep 9 20:32:30 UTC 2013

On Mon, Sep 09, 2013 at 01:16:42PM -0700, spike wrote:

> Ja, I would argue that even after you have switched to LED lighting an added
> insulation to the attic, conservation is still the low hanging fruit for
> most people.  It won't kill us to conserve.  It won't yet anyway.  I do

There is a cost factor. Poor people live expensively. They can't
afford something that costs short-term but provides savings
long-term. There will be more poor people in the future than
in the present. Poor people have less options. Including
the option to escape the poverty trap.

> recognize the arguments of those who say humanity is hopeless, but I

Humanity is objectively dooming itself by failing to act on time. 
Ignorance and apathy kill. There is a chance at personal and small
community scale. These are not hopeless.

> disagree.  We might find solutions to get us to a realistic future in which
> it is meaningful to worry about longer term stuff like global warming.  

Through our actions we can still decide how many people are going to die.
We no longer have a future without dead bodies however. We did it to ourselves.
> But one thing I would like everyone to realize is that there is likely to be
> no magic new technology, nothing likely to replace oil.  Energy conversion

The technology is already out there, and most of it has been
for 40 years or longer. What we need is deployment, deployment,
deployment. Failure to do so will cost additional lives. 
Every year matters.

> tech has been studied long enough and hard enough that the evidence is
> compelling: what we know now is pretty much what we will have in our
> lifetimes.  We know what we need to do.  We need to do it.

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