The ‘resource intensity’ of useful energy

 The diagram below illustrates clearly the concept of the ‘resource intensity of useful energy’.

If we take one suitable unit of oil from the the early period of the oil era, we can see that it would allow us to drive 50 miles.

As we move closer to the ‘Nett Energy Cliff’ we can see

  • that we are moving to an era when this has dropped to less than 20 miles and
  • the decline is becoming increasingly rapid (exponential)
  • that this applies to all products and services that use fossil fuel energy

Graphically, this is representative of this Blog’s contention that we have to work to continually reduce the ‘resource intensity’ of the products and services we consume. The societies and organizations that can do this are the ones that will inherit whatever future awaits us all.


see also

Links to the ultimate ‘scary’ movie




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