"When the new Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Mario Monti, gave his acceptance speech to the Italian Senate before Christmas, he used the word "growth" 28 times and the word "energy" – well, zero times. Why would this supposed technocrat neglect even to mention the biophysical basis of the world’s economy? Energy, after all, is at the heart of industrial growth society: industrial production, our cities, our transport systems, our buildings and infrastructure, food and water flows, the internet – they all critically depend on oil and gas."   (Source: Energy Bulletin)

Brilliant analysis of the energy myopia of our growth theocrats and the implications of energy scarcity on the future of cities. Also includes some serious inconvenient challenges for the theocrats of renewable energy.

A few more interesting quotes from this must-read article:

Mr Monti and Mr Obama are better described as theocrats, than technocrats. Their principal job is to keep us in thrall to a myth: an economy that expands to infinity in a finite world.”

Mainstream renewable energy strategies suffer from an existential flaw. They take rising global energy ‘needs’ as a given; calculate the quantity of renewable energy sources needed to meet them; and then hand the job of implementation over to governments and the market.”

Expensive and heavy energy arrays are to be dumped into wilderness areas – such as arid lands in Spain and France, or the deserts of North Africa – on the false assumption that these lands are ’empty’ or ‘useless’

Resource efficiency is not a lifestyle choice. We’ve splurged on energy for 200 years because we could. The growth-at-all-costs economy grew because it could. We drove two ton trucks to collect a pizza because we could.”

Rather than dream of a global switch to renewables that cannot and will not happen, the wiser course is to focus our creative efforts on low-energy replacements for today’s gas-guzzling support systems. Our focus should be services and infrastructures that require five per cent of the energy throughputs that we are accustomed to now. That’s the energy regime we’re likely to end up with, so why not work on that basis from now on?”