What comes next? This is a question that many are asking today. Energy prices are falling. Isn't this a good thing? Well, it could be a good thing, but it is likely simply another directional signal to the future coming our way or better stated, the way of our descendants. After all consideration is given to the subject, it is indeed all about energy. Consider the following:
Energy has always been the basis of cultural complexity and it always will be. … the past clarifies potential paths to the future. One often-discussed path is cultural and economic simplicity and lower energy costs. This could come about through the "crash" that many fear -- a genuine collapse over a period of one or two generations, with much violence, starvation, and loss of population. The alternative is the "soft landing" that many people hope for - a voluntary change to solar energy and green fuels, energy-conserving technologies, and less overall consumption. This is a utopian alternative that, as suggested above, will come about only if severe, prolonged hardship in industrial nations makes it attractive, and if economic growth and consumerism can be removed from the realm of ideology.
-– Joseph A. Tainter
For the reader who is enticed by the foregoing quotation, your attention is directed to http://dieoff.org/page134.htm for a very edifying read. If the idea of reading through dry scholarly writings does not have appeal, the simple, but effective, way of broadening your horizons on this subject exists at http://www.dieoff.org/ for your viewing pleasure. Just click at the top of the page on the cartoon media that deals with the subject of your interest.
Now the intricate and immediate details of our present situation revolve around whether employment will continued to fall, will we have a predictable future that meets our needs and the needs of our loved ones, correct? No matter how much we may want to rely on intuition or daily routine, it behooves all of us to broaden our knowledge base on the subject of energy. What is its effect on our lives? What determines its availability? How should our leadership respond to the global crisis before us? It is submitted that a knowledgeable basis of opinion as we seek these answers is beneficial.
In the interim, a path of sustainable and frugal life style appears advisable absent the discovery of the "magic bullet".