I've been doing a lot of thinking about green energy and environmentalism. I hate to admit it, but when someone starts talking to me about green business, sustainability or green energy, my eyes glaze over and I stop considering them a serious individual (with a few very rare exceptions for a few of my extraordinary friends). The whole green energy/conservationism/savetheworldbandwagon makes me sick. It's hard for me to see it as something other than a bunch of white $$shame trying to save the world but only from their worldview/valueset.
I've felt very conflicted (and wrong and bad) about this attitude, wondering if I'm anti-conservation/green? Maybe it's just my contrarian tendencies. Is it about control? (I don't want anyone telling me how or where I should get my energy or how to use it, thank you very much.) But here's the thing - I actually think conservation and reducing energy use is the exact opposite direction that we as a human species should be going.
It hit me this week. Energy conservation and the development of solar and wind energies is akin to caloric restriction. Sure, it has been scientifically proven to help you live longer, but you certainly can't be a body builder on it. Nor can you express your human potential on it. (Unless that is living long enough for the Singularity - a noble cause in it's own, but one I care not to achieve.) Sure solar and wind will give us some energy, but they just help us put off dealing with peak oil. The amount of energy in oil is so highly concentrated and it is so easily chemically manipulated. We are not going to stop using oil and coal before we use them up no matter how much solar, wind and bio-fuel energies are available.
Based on my studying and my gut feelings, it is CRITICAL that we have excessive amounts of free/cheap energy to evolve to the next level. It is the difference between hunter/gatherer existence, and the Iowas cornfields I drove through this afternoon. With excessive amounts cheap energy many many things will become possible and be invented that can not possibly exist today.
It is the difference between an outdoor cooking fire and the electric plug in your wall that your electronic device "breathes" from.
I'm not saying we shouldn't develop wind, solar or vegetable based energy: we should, but I do not believe that these methods of energy capture/harnessing will be the difference between the metaphorical hunter/gatherer and cornfields of Iowa. Those energy models will merely maintain the existing paradigm. (And they will only prolong our dealing with peak oil. We're gonna use all the oil in this earth sooner or later.) Which is fine, but not something I am particular interested in. I'm focused on blowing past our current place in time/space/culture/history (not maintaining it) and creating the path to the future.
- Caloric Restriction is to Solar/Wind/Bio Energy as Best Life Possible is to Human evolution/paradigm shift
- Fire is to Hunter/Gatherer as Electricity is to Agriculture as Cheap usable Energy is to the next human paradigm shift (space? singularity?)
- Solar/wind energy is to aspirin as Energy is to broken arm