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I'd rather avoid the conspiratorial thinking, especially as a friend of mine has written a paper about this very thing.
So are we free to do what we "feel like it", or are we "absolutely dependent"?
We are absolutely dependent on electricity generation, and free to expand it as much as we feel like. There isn't really any practical limits on how much wind, solar and nuclear electricity we could generate, if we decided to.
Any process with EROI < 1 is a part of metabolism, not the input.
Still, this doesn't help the policy-maker at all. Should we exploit that 0.5 EROI oil-field or not? Sure, let's just call it metabolism then. Who cares what we call it when it still gives us a valuable product which can be sold for more than the cost of production and gives us a nice margin at our current cost of capital?
Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
It is basically clear by now that "conspiracy" runs the politics and makes economic decisions - without any effective opposition. There is more brainwashing on more crucial political and economic issues - why would energetic issues be exempt?
When we look at the work and conclude that powerful vested interests work to maintain their position, and since they became powerful vested interests in the contest of the current established status quo, that normally tends to reproduce that same established status quo ... that's no conspiracy theory, its normal social science.
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
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