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I was hoping to have posted the link to this article yesterday, but unfortunately there seemed to be a problem with WordPress. Nevermind, its worth the wait!

Why? Because this is an article that must be read in my opinion. Basically, it takes the form of correspondence between one of the first people to propose the peak oil theory, Colin Campbell (based in Ireland) and an associate, Ugo Bardi (based in Italy), on the concept that everything produced in modern civilisation is embedded with energy. Energy which is fossil fuel based. The element that really appeals to me is that it incorporates the idea of applying the Laws of Thermodynamics to growth. You may recall, this is something I was talking about a few posts back with the link to the interview with John Micheal Greer. It very much seems to bear out the concepts discussed there (also mentioned in ‘The Last Oil Shock‘ by David Strahan.) To paraphrase what this article states, if you sit down and think about it, probably everything we take for granted in the modern world is a form of converted energy adapted from fossil fuels. Compare this to about 50 or 60 years ago in somewhere like rural Ireland: the difference is somewhat marked, where standards of living were a lot lower but people seemed to get on with their lives reasonably enough.

So what happens when the source of the embedded energy becomes scarcer? Then the means of effectively manufacturing products and maintaining logistical transportation is going to be far less efficient, especially when the main form of energy supply is much more costly. It’s interesting how Bardi (a chemist by profession) suggests that this is effectively a demonstration of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the principle of energy dissipation.

Effectively, Campbell’s summation is that if peak oil were to lead to a more basic and simpler lifestyle, maybe we might generally be a lot happier as a whole. (Less pursuit of materialism, less stress – maybe less for rioters to smash-up and loot as well??! Maybe a little too optimistic…!)

Check out the article on the link below:

Embedded Energy by Colin Campbell and Ugo Bardi


About Owen Law

My pen-name is ‘Owen Law’ (real name: Nicholas Davies.) I’m a science fiction writer specialising in dystopian/apocalyptic visions of the future. I’m from Shropshire, England (on the borders with Wales) and I’m in my forties. I have a background in public services and training. I’ve been working on my first novel, Dragon Line, since 2008. I’ve also written several short stories, one of which you can find on this blog (‘Matilda Leviathan‘). I now reside on the border of Shropshire and Wales, and my interests include writing (of course!), current affairs and environmental issues.
This entry was posted in Article Recommendations, dragon line, Economic Collapse, Energy Crisis, Oil Price, Oil Shock, Owen Law, peak oil and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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