quite good at it.
The ease of getting that high-def TV might encourage you to get a new one every year or two. But using bricks on windows quickly reaches a point of diminishing returns, because – being no fools – you smashed the easy windows first. The remaining windows are on higher floors or are more brick-resistant. The remaining stores have armed guards who take umbrage at such antics, and as TV’s get larger they’re harder to run with and, first, need to be disassembled. For a while you can cope using ever-larger bricks, running faster, dodging bullets and having friends help you carry them. But after some time, it just gets so stupid that it’s easi er to read a book. That, in metaphoric form, represents your fossil energy situation. Your tool for “getting stuff” – including “getting” fossil -energy carriers like coal, oil, and gas - is fossil energy. There is a non-negotiable energy cost to “getting” fossil energy. At the point that energy costs of extraction near the value of the energy use, it means most of your society’s energy is spent in energy extraction, and it stops making sense. Green pictures of presidents then revert to being just pictures of green presidents. (We have those on my world too, but there the presidents were actually green). The Bottom Line: The energy price of extracting nonrenewable resources always goes up whether or not the money cost reflects this physical reality.
Energetic Remoteness – “To be Ore, or Not to be”
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