Reality Blind - Vol. 1

Summary: Energy underpins human economic systems. The United States-as a nation - has used more fossil energy in the last 20 years, in the last 50 years, in the last 200 years, and since the dawn of time, than any other nation. 160 Even now, we Americans each currently use four times the energy of the average human (though less than Canadians, and Norwegians). This energy use (and additionally having the world’s reserve currency so we can easily buy other countries’ energy and raw materials by creating more dollars) has been the ultimate privilege. Our college educations, our interesting and meaningful jobs that don’t have to do with growing food, our long life spans, extremely low death rates, and a 24-7 smorgasbord of fun and interesting things to do are a direct by-product of a huge and ongoing expenditure of surplus energy. Energy is the fundamental organizer and enabler of our society; therefore, energy privilege is the fundamental organizer and enabler of all our other privileges. There is considerable recognition and discussion about issues like: imperialism, colonialism, patriarchy etc. These phenomena are very real, but they are 2 nd order effects. Energy, ecology, and evolutionary psychology aspects of the human predicament are 1 st order effects. Ergo, patriarchy and inequality in consumption started with the dawn of agriculture and was turbo charged with the fossil surplus bolus of the industrial revolution. TaaL: It’s fashionable to consider “the American way of life” to be some emergent property of a unique “American spirit”, the US constitution, a certain flavor of religion, “freedom”, and various superior ways o f doing things which the “developing” nations are simply slow to learn due to not being as exceptional as you are. But the real story is a very old story, far older than humans, and of course, it’s about energy. The individual, tribe, herd, population, fo rest, etc. of any species which utilizes the most energy will have more options, better survival, and more wealth – however “wealth” manifests for that species. That being the case, one could predict that 5% of the world’s population historically using 25% of the energy and resources, would be expected to have a superior quality of life irrespective of any other considerations. And how about that, it does. In fact, your world is full of human nations which have great spirit, a constitution, religion, personal freedom, and clever ways of doing things. But some of them have less access to exosomatic energy and its enabling mechanisms, and they are termed “developing nations”, as though they are in some ways too deficient or inept to have “developed” as well. T his has been handy, because lacking infrastructure to exploit it, they will generally sell their resources for a pittance. Of course, this means that they won’t


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