We’re energy blind, says Hagens; It’s past time to pull back the energy blindfolds of our cultural situation. —
No 2738 Posted by fw, June 13, 2021 —
In the preceding repost, Nate Hagens identified four broad, risk categories that humanity will face in the next decade: Social, Financial, Political, and Geopolitical. Using these categories as a framework, he declares:
“So what I have to offer today, briefly, is 12 categories for Interventions, or at least the direction for interventions, that will help us mitigate future risks and change our cultural conversation. For each category, I will also suggest a ‘Wild Idea’.”
Moreover, in the context of his systemic analysis of the human predicament, Hagens considers that his ‘Wild Ideas” are not Wild at all but more along the lines of “general suggestions.”
In today’s repost, Hagens puts forward Energy as his first of 12 Interventions, along with his first Wild Idea: Welcome to “Energy Appreciation Day“. He states:
“We are now like superheroes with supernormal powers living in advanced economies in the year 2021. Appreciate energy and all that it does for us. Every year — midway between Earth Day is October 22nd – let’s make that Energy Appreciation Day. Spend time on that day acknowledging the myriad ways we benefit from energy services that we pay pennies for, relative to their real value. Maybe do without. Or make plans for low energy substitutes in your own life.”
Below is my transcript of Hagens’ very first Intervention and Wild Idea, which I have titled, not surprisingly: “ENERGY: First Intervention and (Wild Idea)”. As usual, I include in this repost an embedded video of Nate’s almost 3-hour talk, featuring a synopsis of key ideas from his past written works and videos, packaged as 33 myths. As well, I tack on the list of his’ 33 myths.
Note: to put today’s repost in context, I open it with the Hagens’ closing thoughts from the preceding piece.
[Picking up from where Hagens left off in the preceding repost. at the 2:22:54 mark] –
So what I have to offer today, briefly, is 12 categories for interventions, or at least the direction for interventions, that will help us mitigate future risks and change our cultural conversation. For each category, I will also suggest a “Wild Idea”.
What does it mean to be a wild idea? Ideas are good or bad based on their merit given the information, imagination, and relevance to a situation. Whether they’re “wild” or not describes their delta* relative to the perception of the people hearing them. [*delta – the difference between two things or values]
That said, I am merely an analyst who’s been studying the human predicament. All I can do with confidence is describe what is happening today, not predict tomorrow. I am much more confident of what WILL NOT HAPPEN in coming decades than in WHAT WILL.
In that light, I offer these general suggestions that to me are challenging, but, given my analysis, they’re NOT WILD at all.
TRANSCRIPT of “ENERGY: First Intervention and (Wild Idea)” (01:28-minutes long, starting at 2:23:53 mark, ending at 2:25:27)
Okay, here we go.
ENERGY [First Intervention and (Wild Idea)]
We’re energy blind — It’s past time to pull back the energy blindfolds of our cultural situation
I spent about one-third of this presentation discussing energy, which probably seems slow or not so relevant for most people because we don’t see or feel the urgency or stress with respect to the issue of energy. But in the same way, I would feel obligated to point out that your hair’s on fire if your hair was on fire. I think it would be a good thing if the energy blindfolds of our cultural situation were pulled back.
The push to “green” the economy can’t be stopped, and may build some infrastructure, even if misallocated
Having said that, I think the momentum of things like — green hydrogen, net zero, peak demand, “renewables-will-solve-it narratives” — will NOT really be stopped. And, in the very term, “scaling [up]” of all those things probably helps GDP, maintain social stability, and does build out some infrastructure that will help in the future even it it’s misallocated.
The Intervention is that we need to understand, appreciate and plan about energy much more widely in our culture.
Wild Idea # 1 – Initiate an “Energy Appreciation Day”
So, my Wild Idea is —
We are now like superheroes with supernormal powers living in advanced economies in the year 2021. Appreciate energy and all that it does for us.
Every year — midway between Earth Day is October 22nd – let’s make that Energy Appreciation Day. Spend time on that day acknowledging the myriad ways we benefit from energy services that we pay pennies for, relative to their real value. Maybe do without. Or make plans for low energy substitutes in your own life.
Or, if you don’t buy all this energy reality stuff, just freaking appreciate life.
2:25:27 — End of “ENERGY: First Intervention and (Wild Idea)”
LIST OF THE 33 MYTHS (plus opening introduction and closing Interventions (and Wild Ideas)
Nate notes that the myths themselves are listed in reverse numerical order from #33 down to #1, while the time markers are in chronological order from beginning to end, which facilitates their quick and easy location on the video. The myths can be watched in any order, but the order they’re in made the most sense to Hagens. To go directly to the beginning of any numbered myth or to the opening Introduction and closing Interventions and Wild Ideas, just click on the linked time stamp.
Time stamps: 0:04 — Introduction 2:20 — Myth #33: The Experts Have ALL the Answers 4:16 — Myth #32: Humans Are Separate From Nature 6:45 — Myth #31: Humans Are Mostly Selfish 12:17 — Myth #30: More Is Better 18:12 — Myth #29: “Someday I’ll Have enough” 21:18 — Myth #28: We Care About the Future 23:38 — Myth #27: Everyone Has Their Own Truth 26:37 — Myth #26: Truth Matters 29:31 — Myth #25: Energy Is Merely a Commodity 34:28 — Myth #24: The American Dream is Based on Hard Work and Cleverness 36:05 — Myth #23: Oil: The USA Will Be the Next Saudi Arabia 41:46 — Myth #22: We Can Always Get More Resources if We Have More Money 44:42 — Myth #21: Renewables Can Power THIS Civilization 50:55 — Myth #20: In the future we wont need oil due to Peak Demand!! 55:01 — Myth #19: We Can Achieve Net Zero!! (by 2050 or any date) 59:54 — Myth #18: As Earth runs out of resources, We’ll Colonize Outer Space!! 1:02:26 — Myth #17: Growth Is Forever 1:05:04 — Myth #16: GDP Is the Right Goal for Society 1:10:56 — Myth #15: Overpopulation Is the Main Driver 1:15:21 — Myth #14: Technology Will Solve It 1:21:16 — Myth #13: The Environment Is Part of the Economy 1:24:04 — Myth #12: The Natural World Is Ours 1:27:03 — Myth #11: Climate Change Is the Core Problem 1:32:44 — Myth #10: Billionaires and Politicians Are in Charge 1:38:56 — Myth #9: Financial Markets Give Us the Right Signals for the Future 1:43:22 — Myth #8: Stimulus Is Permanent 1:48:37 — Myth #7: We Need to Crash the System to Get a Fresh Start 1:52:43 — Myth #6: The Use of Nuclear Weapons Is Unthinkable 1:57:03 — Myth #5: Fossil Fuel Companies Are at Fault 2:03:01 — Myth #4: Capitalism Is to Blame 2:07:54 — Myth #3: Humans Are Bad 2:11:37 — Myth #2: We Face a Shortage of Energy 2:14:17 — Myth #1: We Are Doomed 2:19:56 — Interventions (and Wild Ideas)
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