The Energy Fault Line

Everyone agrees that abundant, low-cost energy has rocketed us from the pre-industrial economy of the 18th century to the affluent economy in which we live today. However, an enormous chasm has formed between alternative visions for the path forward. On one side are those who want to continue on the path of greater energy consumption leading to greater affluence for all mankind; this means aggressively exploiting fossil fuels until the market makes alternative energy sources truly cost competitive. On the other side are those who claim that such a path will lead to catastrophe and we have to sacrifice growth for long-term survival. The question is not simply one of objective facts, but of subjective values. What’s the nature of this conflict? What’s at stake? How is it likely to be resolved? We’ll provide the answers you need.

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