Our command of energy resources has created amazing technologies and social systems at a grand scale, but at what cost? Where past societies shackled human muscle with force and subjugation to create an energy surplus, beginning in the late 19th century we have used coal, oil & gas to create an unprecedented energy abundance. As the era of surplus energy comes to an end, how will our systems reliant on energy slaves for mechanical and cognitive work adapt? How is the energy transition moving forward?
In Extraenvironmentalist #76 we discuss our global energy systems with Andrew Nikiforuk as we discuss his new book, The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude. Andrew discusses ways of understanding our use and abuse of cheap energy. Then, Chris Nelder joins us to talk about the ongoing energy transition and how it is reaching a tipping point through the recognition of a financial carbon bubble, the German Energiewende and the decline of the traditional oil majors.
As Terence McKenna once said, "Reason, and science, and the practice of unbridled capitalism, have not delivered us into an angelic realm. Quite the contrary: they’ve delivered 3% of us into an angelic realm, completely overshadowed by guilt about what’s happening to the other 97% of us who are eating it!"
The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitudeby Andrew Nikiforuk
// Links and News Items
News Item #1. NPR: US Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers
News Item #2. Fukushima’s “crisis of manpower”: Unskilled and destitute workers have taken over the cleanup process
Stephen Kopits Presentation on Energy Supply Forecasting
// Extended Clips (in order of appearance)
[First Break] - 35m
Shell energy scenarios to 2050
RT: Running on Empty
"Peak Oil Debunked"
Canadian Tar Sands Ad
[Second Break] - 85m
Earth 2050 - How Much Energy Will We Need
Stephen Kopits on Energy Forecasting
From the XE Youtube Channel: Richard Heinberg on Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future
// Music (in Order of Appearance)
Henry Green - Electric Feel (Kygo Remix)
Camera2 - Appetite via KCRW Today's Top Tune
Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine (Rare Monk Cover)
Glen Campbell - Wichita Lineman (Paddy McAloon Cover)
No Nukes - Power
Porter Robinson - Sea of Voices (RAC Remix)
Great Good Fine Ok - Not Going Home
// Production Credits
Our correspondent and editor Kevin via Sustainable Guidance Youtube Channel
Mr. Nelder for music suggestions
Episode #76 was supported by donations from the following generous listeners:
Derek in CA
Jay in WA
Linus in Sweden
Simon in Norway
Kim in Quebec City
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