The rapid change in the world’s climate and shrinking oil and natural gas reserves are forcing a radical shift in the way we think about energy. Declining prosperity seems unavoidable unless the global community chooses a more sustainable approach to producing and consuming energy.
Have you taken a shower today? Have you sipped a cup of hot coffee, stepped out of your warm apartment and driven to work? Booked your next vacation flight?
People have never enjoyed as much material comfort as they do today. More than one-tenth of the world’s population own cars, and 4 billion people have electricity in their homes. Growing prosperity has been the goal of civilization since people began to populate the earth. That prosperity is measurable — by a currency called energy.
Mankind burns up to 10 million tons of crude oil a day, 12.5 million tons of hard coal and 7.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas. All this consumption is accompanied by the creeping certainty that supplies will run out in only a few decades. Besides, the evidence that things are on the decline has never been more clear than since early February of this year, when … More