TaaL: Circular economy? How about circular logic?
The thing you humans really don’t get, at this stage of your intellectual and cultural evolution, is energy primacy. Usable net energy is ultimately the whole story for everything from a foraging ant to a functional space-age society. Materials are absolutely important. Where do you get those? Usable net
energy. You use the best, purest and cheapest first, so by definition what’s left is more “energetically remote”, harder to extract, which is to say, it costs more in energy terms. Even the fossilized chemical potential energy from which you GET usable net energy is itself getting more energetically remote. It’s only economical to “recycle” a relatively small percentage of stuff because raw natural sources are energetically cheaper. This core reality isn’ t going to go away. It is possible that one day you will recycle a significantly higher percentage of human economic throughput, but the cost of doing so will infer a much smaller economy and …different human arrangements. The Bottom line : Abundant cheap energy allows us an abundance of almost all other materials. In fact, usable net energy is, ultimately, almost the entire story.
Powered by FlippingBook