No you didn’t misread it. ___Nafeez Ahmed repeats the mantra of so many “experts” in this field, that “we” must do this or that in order to save some kind of future existence for ourselves and future generations. And that technology is going to fix things.

By “we” of course he means humankind en masse, that there must come a moment when we collectively alter our momentum of destructive force and adopt a benign attitude to one another, and cease our homicidal inclination.

This is why I define it as wish politics, wish economics and wish science. Because after 100000 generations of hurtling in one lethal direction, we are somehow expected to change in the course of a single generation, which is all we have left — -maybe two at most. (wish politics) A quick check on world politics right now will show that to be unlikely. The vast majority are certain that prosperity can A — -be voted for, or B — — taken by force. Our current democract has existed only since the industrial revolution. Remove our energy sources and we will not have a democracy.

Because over the next 20/30 years, our hydrocarbon fuel supplies will be gone, and there are no alternatives.

All alternative “fuel sources” can only function within a hydrocarbon based infrastructure, the “alternatives” suggested by Dr Ahmed deliver electricity, and electricity is useless without the rotative machinery to utilise it. (wish science) It is not possible to make functional quantities of such machinery by the input of electrical energy alone, and it is through rotative forces that our civilisation functions.

Or put more definitively in few words: The conversion of explosive force into rotary motion.

Try to imagine one aspect of your lifestyle not dependent on that.

Without that we do not have a modern civilisation, yet Ahmed asserts that new sources of electrical energy will solve or problems. Electrical energy is not fungible. Oil is.

We were told that oil was infinite, because to allow the notion of anything else would have trashed the oil business. Cars made us all rich, by producing them. (wish economics) It has been debt economics instead. We can only service our collective debt by consuming more hydrocarbons (making things), and wind farms and solar farms will not allow that to continue. Every nation borrows money to sustain the illusion of infinite prosperity — -even Saudi, the most energy rich nation, is having to sell assets to keep itself afloat.

Ahmed has made the classic mistake of so many others, that “technology” will solve our energy crisis. Few grasp the reality, that cheap abundant hydrocarbon fuels have provided us with all (and there are no meaningful exceptions) the technology we currently have. This has blinded us to the fact that no technology can deliver cheap abundant energy to replace fossil fuels. It doesn’t work in reverse..We have unfortunately convinced ourselves that it can.

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co-author of The End of More, in paperback and kindle on Amazon email

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