Energy Nationalism

The energy lanscape is changing rapidly. Driven by a desire to protect our planet the development of renewable sources is adding lareg quantities of energy generating capacity to the global economy. The potential is still underestimated enormously because it is compared to the current fossil supply, of which it is a small percentage. In reality thought our fossil resources represent only a fraction of the energy we could have available for production of wealth, about 1/2500th would be a reasonable estimate. This means that with renewables our global wealth can not double but become hundreds of times bigger.

Energy is power. Wars have been decided by the supply of energy whether it was food or fossil fuels. The governments of Iraq and Iran and others have been keenly aware of this, as was that of the USA, which basically sucked the oil out of Saudi Arabia and Egypt for decades. As happened with Ahmadinejad and Saddam Hussein, as is happening now with Putin, the control over energy translates to power which is wielded for the sake of the people of (in Putins case) Russia. To be more precise, Putin maintains a protective power structure around himself based on his control of the fossil resources of Russia, and russians are by the same (persuasive corrupting) power of the fossil resources recruited as his protectors. Its like the first guy that picks up the only sword : He will be the boss.

Putin has been inspired by quite a nationalist philosopher but he really didn’t need to be. Power is local because it requires communication and trust, and trust between humans (still) depends on their ability to come together. We will find that there are three scenarios to follow as we see more renewable energy sources come operational : 1. A global supressive regime will regulate and sell energy production around the globe (if we get to a phase where there are two or more that threaten to anihilate each other). 2. The globe will become a patchwork of small nations, small power realms, that agreed together to never let any of them become to powerfull. Those nations may be part of a larger entity for some purposes, but as all see that it is an eternal struggle to avoide the concentration of power (always justified by some wrong somewhere or a common enemy) this overaching entity will be very specific in its task. 3. AI becomes dominant and we become irrelevant 😉

For now it is not yet clear what will happen. The fact remains that there is a cost to domination, either you have to drive people crazy or pay them a lot to go out to some place and subdue other people. Its unnatural and an exceptional thing for humans to do. At the same time communities know they can increasingly take care of themselves with renewable energy, the skills and knowledge proliferate, filtering water with ionic membranes brings low cost (zero cost ultimatly) fresh water within reach, understanding of the relationship between vegetation and rain will make more land fertile. The people of every territory will come to understand they can control themselves, they don’t need to be controlled by anyone if they can produce their own food, warmth and products (through automation). Even at a lower leven of civilisation people can exist happily and without war, the important factors are food and shelter.

So we will likely see more nationalism, regionalism, isolationism relative to the current model. The current world economy floats very precariously on the open trade of oil, coal and gas, at least in the dominant countries. Its cooperation is for the good of the people, but ultimatly arbitrated by banks and credit institutions, the BIS and the fossil fuel companies. We see an alignment, earlier of bankers and government, now of fossil interest, military power and government (Rex Tillerson was Exxon CEO). We guess the US wants to be the dominater of option 1. above. It can become that because the powers to thwart opposing activity are now so well developed, nobody can escape death or destruction or even distraction or seduction from a force as powerfull as the US. Of course anyone that sees his region could be independent of such meddling by applying renewables will start working towards that goal.

As the cost of renewables and batteries drop and as manufacturing becomes more and more automated we may see a sudden fragmentation of the current governments, a Big Bang so to say where every region declares itself master of all its energy resources, fossil or renewable. You can be a guest, add your skills there, but you can not come in and take the energy to use it for your own purposes and trade somewhere else. Why would you? Generate your own! Renewables driving local energy will also create and enable local currencies (to allow them to apply the benefits of economic principles without outside influence on the value of the currency or ownership of assets) and together this will be the reason to split off, seceed, choose isolation.

On top of the above we have no incling of how the now unused territories will be invaded and populated through the use of renewables. That will be a true revolution in its own right. You don’t have to be waterless in the desert, landless at sea, all these things depend on power, energy which we are now finally getting under our control for good. This is why we think a patchwork will be the end result, there is room for everyone once you think beyond the restrictions of fossil fuel supply lines and markets..

Leave a Reply