[ExI] How Electricity Became a Luxury Good

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Tue Sep 10 11:42:30 UTC 2013

On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 10:46:09AM +0200, Omar Rahman wrote:

> This is such a sensible statement that I am dumfounded, it's like finding an ice sculpture in the middle of a forest fire. (Or flame war!)

I'm surprised at your surprise. This is the entire premise
of the whole conversation. I'm having a duh! moment.
> Energy production will be become more expensive in the short term in the only currency that matters; energy invested. 

EROEI and ROI are both relevant. Payback time is also relevant, as
long-lived system require an initial energy investment, which is
more expensive in an energy-poor environment, aka the energy cliff.
Which is why buying PV made from dirty cheap coal today is at
all justified.

> Food prices will go up if the transition is not managed gracefully. 

Have you looked at the history of food prices plotted versus energy 
prices, and the drivers of Arab Spring? Biofuels and HANPP ring a bell?

> People will react as they always have to food prices going up. 

People *have* already reacted to each past food price spike.

> But, in the long run, switching to renewables for our day to day living 
> makes a lot of sense, no more drilling through thousands of meters of 
> rock, no more fighting wars to control the ground where the fossil 
> fuels are; the energy comes to you.

You're entirely too reasonable for your own good. 
> The oil industry began on land where the oil was literally seeping 
> out of the ground and ever since then the EROEI has been going up. 
> If we factor in the costs of the wars to maintain control of various 
> oil patches the cost of oil is really quite high.
> I've written more but I'll try to match Spike's bravery: regardless 

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

> of where you are on the political spectrum, can you find anything 
> in my previous sentences which you would dispute?

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list