The Energy Wars. Get Ready to Escalate.

It first dawned on me during a 7th grade science experiment. Mankind is in big trouble!

We were growing mold in Petri dishes. The concept was simple and the results were fascinating.

We started by putting different nutrients like agar, honey, sugar water, slices of apple etc. into Petri dishes which we left sitting at different temperatures, light and humidity levels. It was amazing… Almost everything we put out grew some kind of mold or fungus. Given time and something to eat, life sprung up almost everywhere. The fact that life is so abundant, varying and resilient was a key factor to my revelation.

The revelation was this… All of the fuzzy mold critters that developed in the many different dishes we had put out went through the same life-cycle. They multiplied until all of the food was gone and then they died.

Just like every batch of mold did, we the human race are rapidly eating all of the food in our Petri dish. Earth can only sustain X amount of people where the number X is variable depending on what comfort or consumption level you use as the sustainable minimum. When you’re doing that kind of math it matters a lot whether Earth must sustain 6.5 billion people driving cars and living in single family homes or 6.5 billion living in dung huts and walking. I’ve seen studies that say 9 billion is the limit and I’ve seen others that say we can sustain a lot more if we all consume less.

It doesn’t matter what number X is. The fact is that the human race is growing and using resources fast. The other fact is that our main resource, the resource that is the basis of the global economy and the one we use to harvest food, pump water, transport goods, heat homes etc. is oil.

Unlike the mold in the Petri dishes we have options.

1. Fight wars over resources like oil, water, land etc. This will reduce our population and stretch remaining resources a bit longer. That’s already happening and is the most likely path for humanity.

2. Tap into new resources. Unfortunately this is only happening on a small scale. Because profits are higher when supply is low, the powerful oil industry will hinder the influx of any kind of alternative energy not controlled by them.

3. Stretch our existing resources. Things that make sense to me are driving smaller cars and insulating homes better. I don’t know about low wattage poison light bulbs or cars that need extra batteries, gizmos and oil.

-. I won’t count having everyone on the planet consume less as an option because it goes against human nature.

Speaking of human nature, there’s greed and speaking of greed, there’s profit in war.

And that’s why we are where we are today… In the early stages of the energy wars.

There are curve signs on the road ahead, read them and heed.

1. The US has military bases and is occupying key regions in the oil rich middle east.
2. China’s economy is booming and their national energy consumption will surpass the US in just a few years.
3. Iran is a real hot-spot. They have a contract to supply China with natural gas and are getting help from Russia to build nuclear reactors. That’s smart of them but it’s irking the US to the point where they want to pick a fight.
4. The US Dollar is weaker than it’s ever been. Big players are selling Dollars out of their federal reserves and portfolios in favor of other currencies.
5. Here’s the big one, climate change. Parts of the world are flooding, parts are burning, some places are turning into desert while others are getting washed away. Growing seasons are changing and species that pollinate crops are dying off.
6. There were 3 billion people on this planet in 1959, 6.5 billion now, and a projected 9 billion by 2042.

The short term effect of all of these factors combined will be that world-wide, things will be more expensive and the US, where consumers are spoiled rotten, the country that carries the biggest stick will be broke.

I see a sure thing recipe for a bigger war being stirred up right now. We will go about it in the usual way, the way mankind has throughout history. First by making enemies invading other countries and justifying our greed with reasons like “We’re spreading democracy” or “We’re fighting terrorism”, “Protecting our national interests” etc. Then as our enemies strike back we escalate the situation by picking fights with our enemy’s friends, neighbors or even countries that share the same ethnicity or religion. Look at the way the western media is subliminally stoking the fire against Islam.

Well, let’s hope that I’m completely wrong or that at least the bad events I foresee take a long time to unfold so that we can enjoy the unsustainable prosperity we currently have.



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