A Chevron magazine ad starts on one page with:
“The world is growing by more than 70 million people a year.
So is that a problem, or a solution?”
The next page in the spread answers their question:
Oh my God! Human Energy™ is . . . people! We’ve got to stop them
Chevron says we are the most powerful source of energy in the world, and yet
one gallon of their gasoline contains the energy equivalent of 500 hours
of human work output. We’re going to need a lot of Human
Energy™ when oil requires more energy
to extract and refine than we get out ot it.
Let’s see now, what shall we feed them? Can’t invest more
calories than we get in return—nothing personal, just business.
Cornucopian vs neo-Malthusean
Boosters of cornucopian optimism
rave about humanity’s ability to
overcome any difficulty neo-Malthusians might imagine befalling the
burgeoning billions of us. However, they acknowledge one catastrophe from
which we would never recover: a shrinking population.
In “Catastrophists versus
Marisa asks, “If humans are so deft in
inventing new solutions to ever increasing problems, what then stands in the
way of creating new solutions to the economic affliction of demographic
decline, publicized by the press and governments as the ultimate tragic
“...in practical terms, the supply of a resource is not finite. It
is integrally dependent on human ingenuity. If we were to think of ways to
double the efficiency with which we use oil, it would be equivalent to
doubling the supply of oil.”
If it weren’t for the Jevon’s Paradox,