What do we mean by energy? And why does energy matter?
Energy is the basis of life. Put simply, energy comes from the sun. It is stored in plants and it is also stored underground as a concentrated energy, in the form of fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas).
Humans have become reliant on this concentrated fossil fuel energy, particularly oil, to help meet the necessities of life (producing food, providing transport, building homes etc). For instance, most of us are reliant on planes, ships and trucks using fossil fuel energy to deliver everything we need and want (either directly or indirectly) to our homes.
This easy to access highly concentrated fossil fuel energy, with a much higher EROI (energy return on energy invested) than for instance, human or horse power or current renewables, has led most modern humans to believe our necessities have been (miraculously) taken care of and we can safely give our attention to matters of the day like “What’s hot and What’s not” and “What’s for dinner?” so we almost never have to think of pesky matters like growing or catching food, or how we can manage if there’s a shut down of oil supplies.
Because many in this generation have had ready access to an abundance of fossil fuel energy – and because oil prices are currently very low and supplies are high – it’s not surprising that very few are noticing that the easy-to-access fossil fuel energy (oil, gas, coal) is no longer available and it’s now taking more and more energy to access what remains.
Because many who care about our planet have been focusing on the negative impacts of fossil fuel use, the widespread instinct has been to celebrate the impending collapse of the oil industry, without seeing the need to work out how to transition to another energy source that doesn’t rely on fossil fuel energy and cause more negative impacts, such as many renewables currently do, while time and energy is still available. (See our resources section and Q&A for details).
Understanding energy – what it is, where it comes from, what happens if there’s a major disruption to our energy supplies does matter. What we put our energy into right now does matter.
You are warmly invited to join us on Mondays to focus on ‘energy matters’. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments.
For anyone wanting a more in-depth understanding of energy matters and needed solutions we highly recommend this recent 2 hour 18 minute interview with Dr Louis Arnoux THERMODYNAMIC OIL COLLAPSE & FUTURE There will be follow up interviews which are more focused on solutions in the next few weeks.