I don’t know about all this alternative energy stuff. Renewable energy. Solar energy. Wind energy. Lunar energy. Geothermal energy. Meteor energy.
It annoys me, mainly because the word energy has been hijacked by so many pseudo-scientific charlatans claiming to heal you with crystals and auras and mantras, except they never use the word energy. Chancers always say energies, and they never, ever tell you what it means, because they don’t know.
However, enough railing against fake healers and ego-worriers. Let us speak of energy.
As we all know now, the world has passed the point of peak oil, which simply means we’ve used more than half of all the oil on the planet. In a little over a hundred years, we’ve sucked out half the oil laid down by millions upon millions of years of decaying dinosaurs.
Do you need to be a genius to figure out that this is not good?
I don’t think so. I think not. No.
Now, what is the principal driver of all this oil-sucking? What motivates this prodigious drainage of hydrocarbons from within the earth’s crust?
What else? The most powerful force ever to propel humankind.
Instead of converting this huge global resource into useful stuff through the polymeric magic of modern chemistry, we turn it into the discarded dross and chaff that circles our oceans — the biggest man-made object visible from Space. We burn it. We destroy it in our haste and our greed and our personal madness.
We do more than that. By constantly reproducing, without bound, without end, without limit, we guarantee that the oil resources disappear at an exponentially-increasing rate, which means that Peak Oil isn’t really half way at all. If you thought we burned the first half fast, wait till you see what happens over the next thirty years. All modern wars will be about energy or water, and you saw the start of it with Afghanistan and Iraq, dressed up as the War on Terror. Watch this space: you’ll see lots more war on terror, but always in places with oil or water. What a coincidence.
Why can’t we just chill?
If we relaxed a bit, if we chilled a bit, if we did less running around, and if some of us could keep their dicks in their pants, there might be hope for the future.
You see, I think shortage of energy is only part of the problem.
I think too much energy is also the reason we’re in trouble. Too much energy put into making money and building stuff and running around and lighting cities all night and sailing gigantic cruise ships around the world, and a whole pile of other stuff that uses up dead dinosaurs. There are only so many dead dinosaurs and we’re running out of them, so it’s time to chill.
Our local university has a degree course on sustainable energy, which I think is great. The more we harness renewables, the less dead-dinosaur-stuff we’ll burn, and I’m all in favour of that. Solar power. Wind-power, which is solar by another name. Lunar power. Geothermal, as long as we don’t chill the planet so much we wipe ourselves out anyway, though maybe we could balance global warming against Earth-cooling. Who knows?
I have a personal interest in this because my lazy swine of a son somehow managed to gain the points he needed for college despite lying around picking guitars and drinking beer, and he expressed an interest in this whole area of study. He has a vaguely scientific inclination, as I do myself.
Bullet, I said to him, isn’t it fair to say that you’re a lazy bastard?
It is, he agreed.
And you came from a long line of lazy bastards, as I did myself?
True, he nodded.
Well, I went on, all of this energy crisis is caused by people running around everywhere trying to do things the whole time, right?
Right, he shrugged.
So, I said, instead of researching alternative, renewable sources of energy …
Bullet isn’t stupid. He could see where this was going, and as he lay back on the sofa, reaching for his Gibson, he cracked a can of beer.
I could research … he muttered, idly picking out a melancholy blues lick …
You could research …
He grinned, and we intoned, as one lazy bastard
Renewable sources of lethargy.