Oct 132015

Our civilization has become fragile and dependent on a constant supply of energy.

When was the last time you needed to take a cold shower? For me it was a few weeks ago. There was a problem with the heating system and a few hours later someone had come and fixed it. I don’t know who, I know it is included in the monthly costs, it is nothing I have to worry about.

Electric current? Yes, it fails sometimes, but only after the most severe of thunderstorms. Never for more than an hour, at least I can’t remember any incident from the last ten years.

We could collect rain water in buckets, but how would we heat it? How would we cook? It wouldn’t be such a problem in the country, but in a city like Vienna? London? New York? A tree takes time to grow and is cut and burned in a few hours. Vienna has trees, but far, far from enough to supply almost two million people. And the trees don’t grow evenly distributed. Even if we’d cut them down, hwo would we transport the wood? Horse carts? Laughable. Which horses?

No, as a civilization we are on a one-way street. We either manage to keep the machine running, or we’ll experience a catastropic breakdown. Maybe that’s the most important reason why politicians who follow the prevalent, short-sighted, shareholder value-oriented management approach are so dangerous.

Going from coal/oil/gas to renewable energies and doing it on a planet scale is a gigantic endeavor and it needs planning, much, much time and a long breath. It’s good to see how fashionable Teslas have become. It’s a sign, it’s a beginning, but I fear an unregulated, money-driven economy won’t cut it for the majority of us.

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