Monday, September 17, 2007

Civilisation is driven by available energy

The Archdruid Report has a great report here dispelling the myth that the so callled progress of our civilisation is driven by innovation.

Innovation is a necessary condition for the growth and survival of industrial society, in other words, but not a sufficient condition. If energy resources aren’t available in sufficient quality and quantity, innovation can make a successful society but it won’t make or maintain an industrial one. It’s worth suggesting that the maximum possible level of economic development in a society is defined by the abundance and concentration of energy resources available to that society. It’s equally possible, though this is rather more speculative, that the maximum possible technological level of an intelligent species anywhere in the universe is defined by the abundance and concentration of energy resources on the planet where that species evolves.

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